Under 50s to be offered Pfizer jab: Barr

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Canberrans under 50 booked in for the AstraZeneca COVID-19 vaccination at the Garran surge centre will instead be offered the Pfizer jab, Chief Minister Andrew Barr said today after meeting with the National Cabinet.

Mr Barr said this group is primarily made up of ACT Government workers classified under phase 1B of the national rollout.

ACT Chief Health Officer Dr Kerryn Coleman said this morning that people with an appointment at Garran would receive the appropriate vaccine.

Thus far, the ACT has vaccinated nearly 16,000 people at the Garran surge centre.

The Federal Government announced the changes for the AstraZeneca vaccine, upon receiving advice from the national immunisation advisory group ATAGI.

The advice puts the Pfizer vaccine as “preferred” for Australians under 50, due to rare instances in the UK and Europe of people developing blood clots after receiving the AstraZeneca jab. 

“There are thousands of Canberrans that have safely received the AstraZeneca vaccination, and it still remains a very safe vaccination that is proven to prevent the very worst implications from the COVID-19 virus – particularity among the most vulnerable members of our community,” Mr Barr said.

“The ACT Government is working with the Commonwealth on how the vaccine will be rolled out in future stages of the National Plan.”

He said Canberrans eligible under phase 1B of the rollout should contact their doctor about any concerns with the COVID-19 vaccinations.

The new recommendations are expected to affect the already delay-plagued vaccination rollout across the county. Australia has secured another 20 million doses of the Pfizer vaccine for later this year. 

The ACT Government has a dedicated COVID-19 website: covid-19.act.gov.au

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