Therapeutic Goods Administration says AstraZeneca Vaccine is safe

Health Minister Greg Hunt. Picture: Sitthixay Ditthavong
Health Minister Greg Hunt. Picture: Sitthixay Ditthavong

The Therapeutic Goods Administration has declared the AstraZeneca COVID-19 vaccine is safe.

Federal Health Minister Greg Hunt said he was pleased the Queensland government had changed its advice on the AstraZeneca vaccine following the TGA's decision.

Following four cases of anaphylactic reactions to the AstraZeneca vaccines in the state, Queensland health advised those who previously experienced severe allergic reactions to not get the jab.

"The TGA did their rapid review and provided the conclusions that the AstraZeneca vaccine was safe and that there were no adverse events that were out of line without which was ordinarily expected," Mr Hunt said.

Australia's deputy chief medical officer Professor Michael Kidd said he expected a small number of adverse reactions to the vaccine.

"That's why it is so important that when people receive their vaccine, that they stay and get observed for 15 minutes after the vaccine, so we can make sure they are not going to have one of these reactions," Professor Kidd said.

'[For] the vast majority of people, if they will get a reaction, it occurs in that 15-minute period."

Mr Hunt said he, Prime Minister Scott Morrison and Foreign Minister Marise Payne were negotiating with European Union counterparts to ensure a shipment of 1 million vaccines would be fast-tracked to Papua New Guinea.

"I have spoken last night with the global head of AstraZeneca about making sure that we can proceed with a request for the European processes," Mr Hunt said.

"They have actually made a formal request, and our diplomats on the ground in Europe are working for the European Commission, so that process is under way."

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Mr Hunt confirmed bookings for over 100 national vaccination clinics would open from Friday.

"They are larger clinics. They will take patients in the order they arrive. You don't have to be a member of the practice. They will have doses of up to 2000 with an average of just under 1000 per week per clinic," Mr Hunt said.

Mr Hunt said over 300 more clinics, including general practitioners and national vaccination clinics, would receive their vaccines on Friday.

"We are ahead of schedule in the dose delivery," Mr Hunt said.

"We actually started deliveries a day early so by the end of [Thursday], 870 clinics will have received their vaccines."

Mr Hunt said he expected over 240,000 vaccinations to be completed in Australia by the end of Thursday and 250,000 more vaccines to be available next week as Phase 1b commenced.

"It's a marathon, not a sprint," Mr Hunt said.

"It is important to understand that we have more than three times the vaccine required for every Australian, so there is more than enough vaccines for every Australian."

Professor Kidd said Australians should not panic about vaccine supply.

"There is plenty of vaccines. Everyone who wishes to get vaccinated in Australia will be able to be vaccinated," he said.

"Please be polite and calm when you are talking to receptionists in your local general practice.

"These are wonderful, committed people who are supporting the vaccine effort and, of course, support us every day in making sure that we get the appointments we need, when we need them with our chosen GPs.

"This is Australia's largest mass immunisation program that brings with it many challenges, but with a strong health system and excellent healthcare professionals, who are working together to deliver this vaccine for us all."

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This story Therapeutic Goods Administration says AstraZeneca Vaccine is safe first appeared on The Canberra Times.

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