COVID Vaccine Update June 2021

We are receiving a high volume of calls about whether we are providing the Pfizer vaccine. Due to limited supply, the Garran Surge Centre is currently the only location providing Pfizer in the ACT. When this changes we will inform you.

If you are eligible for 1B and are under the age of 50 years, you can find instructions on how to access the Pfizer vaccine here: Pfizer Appointments

If you are over 50 years, the easiest and quickest place to receive the AstraZeneca vaccine is through your GP.

Risk of blood clots update.

The risk of TTS (thrombosis with thrombocytopenia syndrome) is around 10 cases per million for ages 50+ years. With improved identification and treatment, the mortality from these clots has dropped from 1 in 4 people dying to 1 in 25 people dying.

If there were no clots following your first vaccine, the risk of clotting with the second dose of AstraZeneca drops to 1.7 per million. If you are under 50 years and have had the first dose of the vaccine without clotting, it is considered safe to have the second AstraZeneca vaccine.

There are two new cautions for giving the AstraZeneca vaccine this week. It is not recommended for people with a past history of unexplained splanchnic vein thrombosis (including mesenteric, portal and splenic veins which are all in the abdomen) or those with anti-phospholipid syndrome with thrombosis. This is in addition to the existing cautions for those with previous cerebral venous sinus thrombosis and heparin-induced thrombocytopenia.

If you have any of the following, you are at no increased risk of clotting with the AstraZeneca vaccine:

  • history of blood clots in typical sites, such as deep vein thrombosis or pulmonary embolism
  • increased clotting tendency, eg factor V Leiden
  • family history of blood clots
  • history of heart attack or stroke
  • current or past thrombocytopenia (low platelet count)
  • taking anti-coagulant (blood-thinning) medication.

Your second dose of AstraZeneca.

A second dose of AstraZeneca is due 12 weeks after the first dose. For easy calculation, this is three months minus one week. Second doses of the AstraZeneca vaccine will start falling due from June 12 onwards. Please ensure you have booked your second appointment. The easiest way to do this is online. For bookings: Crace, Denman, Lyneham.

Side effects from the second dose of AstraZeneca vaccine are lower than the first dose. Side effects from the Pfizer vaccine are higher after the second dose.

Recent real-world data shows that two doses of the AstraZeneca vaccine are 90% effective at preventing symptomatic disease. It is highly effective at preventing severe disease, hospitalisation and death. It reduces your risk of transmitting the virus to others.

The risk of COVID infection.

COVID can cause severe illness, hospitalisation, death and ‘long covid’.

Based on Australian data of the 30,000 people who were infected with COVID-19:

  • of those 80 – 89 years, 25.9% died, equivalent to 259,000 deaths per million.
  • of those 70 – 79 years, 7.9% died, equivalent to 79,000 deaths per million.
  • of those 60 – 69 years, 1.4% died, equivalent to 14,000 deaths per million.
  • of those 50 – 59 years, 0.07% died, equivalent to 700 deaths per million.

This was despite first-world medical treatment.

One person has died in Australia from the AstraZeneca COVID-19 vaccine. At the time of writing, 4.25 million vaccinations have been given, the majority of these have been AstraZeneca.

Don’t hesitate. Be prepared. Get vaccinated.

Kind regards,

Drs John and Mel Deery, on behalf of everyone at YourGP

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