Infectious disease physician Professor Peter Collignon has told Today there is not yet any reason for Australia to pause its rollout of the Oxford-AstraZeneca COVID-19 vaccine despite several overseas nations halting their vaccination programs following reports of blood clots.
Denmark, Iceland and Norway have suspended the use of the vaccine while the European Union’s medicines regulator investigates whether the shot could be linked to a number of reports of blood clots.
Professor Collingnon said the evidence so far does not point to an issue with the vaccine.
“You have to remember about 200 people for every 100,000 have clots or going through their lungs or legs every year. Yes we need to look at this but so far the evidence isn’t overwhelming that it’s related to the AstraZeneca vaccine.
“Think of the millions of doses that have gone out in Britain without this being recognised as a major issue.”
Professor Collingnon said Australia should continue to aim for as many people to be vaccinated as possible ahead of the winter months.
“The big advantage we have in Australia we don’t have uncontrolled or transmission at the moment. That may change. Winter is coming. We need to vaccinate the people most at risk particularly the risk of dying which is those over the age of 70 which I think we will achieve by winter.”
“The risk of the vaccine is so much less than the risk of the disease.”
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