29 June 2021

Young Canberrans book in for AstraZeneca jabs as rollout expands

| Dominic Giannini
Join the conversation
Vaccine needle going into arm

COVID-19 vaccinations will begin rolling out in Australia as early as next month. Photo: Supplied.

People under the age of 40 have started booking AstraZeneca appointments at local general practitioners following comments from Prime Minister Scott Morrison last night (28 June).

Mr Morrison said anyone under the age of 40 will be able to request the AstraZeneca vaccine from their GP as he announced revised indemnity arrangements for COVID-19 vaccines following the National Cabinet meeting.

“If you wish to get the AstraZeneca vaccine, then we would encourage you to go and have that discussion with your GP,” Mr Morrison said after National Cabinet.

Australian health authorities have recommended people under the age of 60 preference the Pfizer vaccine over AstraZeneca due to the remote risk of blood clots. But now, the Therapeutic Goods Administration says any Australian over the age of 18 can access the AstraZeneca vaccine if they give informed consent after meeting with their GP or qualified doctor.*

ACT Health Minister Rachel Stephen-Smith said most GPs have welcomed the indemnity and the reassurance that they can have that conversation with their patients.

“We are really talking about people who have an ongoing relationship with their GP,” she said.

“Most of those conversations are going to be an existing patient coming and talking about what their relative risk is, what their enthusiasm for the vaccination is and lets have an informed conversation and get consent and do this.”

Kingston Foreshore Medical has already had a jump in callers this morning, mostly from people under 40, requesting bookings for the AstraZeneca jab.

The clinic usually administers about 20 doses a day, three days a week. While there are still some appointments available tomorrow, the clinic has booked two to three times the number of people it usually would in a week.

Around nine people are booked in a typical week, but the clinic fielded more than a dozen calls on Tuesday morning (29 June) following Mr Morrison’s confirmation last night.

Chief Minister Andrew Barr

Chief Minister Andrew Barr said he wanted to see as many Canberrans vaccinated as possible. Photo: Michelle Kroll.

Andrea, 27, was one of the people who called up first thing this morning, saying it was all about risk versus benefit.

“We have been told since the pandemic began that vaccines were the ticket out of this, end of story,” she said.

“Could I wait for Pfizer or Moderna to become available? Sure.

“But if everyone does, we will be in lockdown yo-yo land for far longer.”

READ ALSO Barr to fight for Commonwealth income support for people currently locked-down in the ACT

Around 221,000 Australians received their second dose of AstraZeneca last week, the week after advice was updated to include people between the ages of 50 and 59 in the Pfizer rollout.

Mr Morrison said an additional 236 GPs have been brought online to administer COVID-19 vaccines, which brings the total number of GPs administering the vaccine to 5085 across Australia.

There are around 70 GP clinics administering AstraZeneca jabs in the ACT.

Chief Minister Andrew Barr said he would prefer to have more people vaccinated and that more people should have been vaccinated in time for winter.

“The experience is … the virus spreads more in a winter environment because we are indoors more,” he said.

Although the ACT is not experiencing the same level of vaccine hesitancy that other jurisdictions are, Mr Barr said.

READ ALSO Look inside the ACT’s new Pfizer vaccination hub

“The statistics are very good in terms of vaccine take up in the ACT,” he said.

Almost 155,000 jabs had been administered in the ACT as of 26 June. Just under 10 per cent of the Territory’s population above the age of 16 were fully vaccinated as of 24 June.

Canberra Health Services’ chief operations officer Cathie O’Neill said people had been coming out to the ACT’s vaccination clinics in droves.

“We have not had to do any significant marketing for our appointments which is great,” she said.

Both of the ACT’s Pfizer hubs have been booked out until the start of August, but appointments remain at the Calvary AstraZeneca vaccination clinics and through Canberra GPs.

People under 40 cannot book into the ACT-run AstraZeneca hub; they must book in to receive the jab through a GP.

*An earlier version of this article said anyone over the age of 16 could access the AstraZeneca vaccine. The AstraZeneca vaccine has been provisionally approved by the Therapeutic Goods Administration (TGA) for people 18 years and older.

Join the conversation

All Comments
  • All Comments
  • Website Comments


Good news at last, help is on the way –

Britney Spears’s Dad To Take Control Of Australia’s Vaccine Rollout, After Government Found Unfit To Manage Own Affairs


We know that the vaccination rate for aged care workers is so low that the goverment is even considering mandatory vaccination as a condition of their employment. But why are they so reluctant to get vaccinated? Is there the same low vaccination takeup rate among health workers in other institutions and hospitals? It is not setting a good example for the general population to get vaccinated if workers in areas that have or should have more information about health risks are not themselves getting vaccinated. Australians are not stupid, just exercising rational caution in response to government medical policy confusion, inconsistency and inadequacy. Paradoxically we have in Australia comparatively low vaccination rates with low infection rates. But we can’t hide forever from a virus in our rooms and behind closed borders.

Aged care workers are paid a pittance and are often insufficiently trained and educated for their roles, have you not paid attention to the outcomes of the Royal Commission?

No offence to their hard work, but if you think they have some special insight into the health risks or effectiveness of vaccines, you’re not only barking up the wrong tree, you’re in the wrong forest.

Some may think me barking mad and sometimes I feel as if I am howling at the moon, but I do have an instinct for sniffing out BS in the forest and lifting my leg upon it Yes, people working within an occupation do see, hear, know and perceive things with often greater clarity than those from outside.

Yes, you might be sniffing some BS alright. Often happens when the nose is so close to the source.

Although it’s good to hear that you also get advice on economic theory from clerical assistants and listen to janitors on the intricacies of waste management.

There are numerous studies as to why vaccination rates among these types of workers are low, with none of them identifying a secret unique insight on vaccination safety being key among them.

Things like education, effective communication (these workers are often ESL) and simply getting the required time off work are far more prevalent as to the reasoning.

But of course, your conspiracy network knows better.

From your misunderstanding and misrepresentation of what I actually wrote, one has to assume you are an ESL speaker. I will make just one small amendment: “Most Australians are not….”

When you don’t address any of the logical points made, what more do you expect than derision.

In your last comment, I would have to strongly disagree. There’s more than a few Australians who are stupid.

Some even claim that poor, uneducated workers who work on the periphery of the health industry, actually have special insight into areas of health research not even remotely connected to their skill sets. Normally I would think that these types of people are being disingenuous with their claims but sometimes I’m far too optimistic.

“If we had rampant COVID in the whole of Australia, the risk-benefit analysis would be in favour of AstraZeneca for all age groups, because we would be preventing many, many deaths and it would be far greater than the risk of this syndrome TTS,” she said.


Gotta use those jabs we over ordered and not many want lol

If people are making an informed choice why not???

Daily Digest

Want the best Canberra news delivered daily? Every day we package the most popular Riotact stories and send them straight to your inbox. Sign-up now for trusted local news that will never be behind a paywall.

By submitting your email address you are agreeing to Region Group's terms and conditions and privacy policy.