Aussies Under 60 In Outbreak Zones Are Now Officially Advised To Get The AstraZeneca Jab


Health recommendations regarding the AstraZeneca vaccine have changed for people aged under 60 who live near a Delta variant COVID-19 outbreak zone, and don’t have access to Pfizer. 

The Australian Technical Advisory Group on Immunisation said in a statement on Tuesday that people who live in outbreak zones, particularly of the delta variant, are now recommended to get the AstraZeneca jab. 

“In the context of a Covid-19 outbreak where the supply of Comirnaty (Pfizer) is constrained, adults younger than 60 years old, who do not have immediate access to Comirnaty (Pfizer), should reassess the benefits to them and their contacts from being vaccinated with Covid-19 vaccine AstraZeneca, versus the rare risk of a serious side effect,” the ATAGI said.

They also recommended shortening the interval between the two doses of the AstraZeneca jab from between four and 12 weeks, to four and eight weeks. 

“Therefore, people in an outbreak situation who received their first dose of Covid-19 vaccine AstraZeneca more than four weeks ago should contact their vaccine provider to arrange their second dose as soon as possible,” they said. 

However, the advice for people who aren’t in an outbreak situation remains the same, with the original interval between shots. 

The change in recommendations comes after experts have said the risk of not getting vaccinated in an outbreak setting is worse than risk of side effects that could potentially come with the AstraZeneca virus. 

“As there are more and more cases of COVID-19 appearing in the Sydney area, the risk of contracting the virus is therefore higher. We know in the current outbreak that 10 per cent of active cases are now in hospital with an escalating pneumonia-like illness,” Professor Bruce Thompson, who is the Dean of the School of Health Sciences at Swinburne University of Technology, said. 

“Approximately three per cent are in the ICU, of which one is a teenager. This is a serious [sic] medical condition, and as the risk of contracting the virus has increased, it is time to rethink early vaccination.”

The update to health advice comes after there was mass criticism of a government ad which told young people to get vaccinated, despite not having any vaccinations available that are actually recommended.

The ad left many people feeling attacked and shamed for a situation we don’t have control in, but with the change in health advice, now under 40s can actually feel confident in booking their jab.

You can read about how to book your AstraZeneca vaccination here.