Australia secures 20 million additional doses of Pfizer vaccine

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Health Minister Greg Hunt said phases 1A, 1B and even 2A will be "largely unchanged" by updated advice surrounding the AstraZeneca vaccine for people aged under 50.

"It is completely consistent to say that we do not recommend the AstraZeneca vaccine to people under 55 years of age while we learn more", the minister told RTL.

European authorities have identified the link, prompting the United Kingdom to offer people aged under 30 an alternative vaccine due to the risk.

The decision radically reshapes Australia's vaccine rollout plan, which, until this point, heavily relied on the AstraZeneca formulation.

Australia has announced changes to its AstraZeneca vaccine rollout.

But confidence in the AstraZeneca vaccine (now renamed Vaxzevria) is dropping in Europe and elsewhere since Europe's medicines regulator said this week it could cause very rare blood clots among some recipients.

Australia has secured an additional 20 million Pfizer coronavirus vaccines, doubling the amount of doses set to arrive in the country this year.

"This is based both on the increased risk of complications from COVID-19 with increasing age, and thus increased benefit of the vaccination, and the potentially lower, but not zero risk, of this rare event with increasing age".

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When asked about the likelihood of Australia signing new vaccine agreements, Professor Kelly said the Federal Government is "looking at all of those options right now".

They include Health Minister Olivier Véran, a neurologist aged 41, who was given the AstraZeneca vaccine live on television on February 8.

Mr Morrison reiterated the advice provided to Australians last night in relation to the AstraZeneca vaccine was not a "ban".

"The state government said the Pfizer vaccine would continue to be administered at NSW Health clinics".

France on Friday said under 55s who received a first injection of the AstraZeneca Covid-19 vaccine should be given a jab from a different producer for their second dose, a ruling affecting more than 500,000 people.

The third being if someone has had their first dose of the AstraZeneca vaccine and did not experience any adverse side effects, they can safely receive their second dose, Prof Kelly said.

The first recommendation was for the Pfizer vaccine to be used for those aged under 50-years-old.

By comparison, Australia has contracted the import of 3.8 million doses of the imported AstraZeneca vaccine, and plans to produce some 50 million doses domestically at Melbourne's CSL facility.

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