Is the AstraZeneca vaccine safe?
Yes. The Australian Technical Advisory Group on Immunisation (ATAGI) has recommended the AstraZeneca vaccine remains safe to be given to people aged 50 years and over.
The individual benefit-to-risk balance of vaccination with the AstraZeneca COVID-19 vaccine varies with age.
There is evidence of a likely link between the AstraZeneca vaccine and an extremely rare blood clotting syndrome (thrombosis with thrombocytopenia).
This balance is based on factors including the increased risk of complications from COVID-19 with increasing age and the potential lower risk of the very rare, but serious, adverse event with increasing age.
Eligible adults aged under 50 years will be offered the Pfizer COVID-19 vaccine. AstraZeneca COVID-19 vaccine can also be given to eligible adults aged under 50 years where the person has given informed consent based on an understanding of the risks and benefits of the vaccine.
The recommendation from the Australian Technical Advisory Group on Immunisation (ATAGI) is that the Pfizer vaccine is preferred for adults under 50 years old (who have not already had a first dose of the AstraZeneca vaccine).
I have had my first dose of the AstraZeneca vaccine, what do I do now?
If you have had your first vaccine dose without the extremely rare blood clotting syndrome (thrombosis with thrombocytopenia) or other serious adverse effects, you should receive your second dose as planned.
What if I am worried about side effects?
If you have recently had your first vaccine dose and are experiencing any side effects that you are worried about, please book an appointment to see your doctor.
I’m booked in for my first dose of the AstraZeneca COVID-19 vaccine, what do I do?
If you are an adult aged under 50 years, you should only receive a first dose of AstraZeneca COVID-19 vaccine where the benefit of receiving the vaccine clearly outweighs the risk in your individual circumstance. You may wish to discuss your individual benefit-to-risk balance with your doctor.
Generally, if you have not already received a first dose of the AstraZeneca COVID-19 vaccine, then the Pfizer COVID-19 vaccine is preferred in adults aged under 50 years.
Information about how to receive the Pfizer COVID-19 vaccine will be available on the Department of Health website shortly.
If you are 50 years of age or older, you can still receive your AstraZeneca COVID-19 vaccine.
With two doses spaced by 12 weeks you are 80 percent less likely to get COVID-19 and more than 90 percent less likely to be hospitalised with COVID-19 than if you do not receive a COVID-19 vaccine.
Can I choose which vaccine I receive?
COVID-19 vaccines are being distributed based on the availability of doses. You don’t get to choose which vaccine you receive. Both AstraZeneca and Pfizer are very safe and effective vaccines. Both protect you against getting COVID-19 and against getting very sick if you do get COVID-19.
You can find more information about the Australian Government vaccine program by visiting the Australian Government Department of Health website.
You can use the eligibility checker to find out when you can receive a COVID-19 vaccine.
Please telephone 1800 675 398 to make a vaccination booking if you believe you are eligible.
You can find out more about the vaccines the Australian Government has secured including the number of doses of each vaccine by visiting the Australian Government Department of Health website.
You can find information about the COVID-19 vaccine rollout in Victorian by visiting coronavirus.vic.gov.au/vaccine.