Victoria has cut the waiting time between first and second AstraZeneca shots in half – from 12 weeks to just six weeks – in order to get the whole population vaccinated faster.
The thinking is that we need to get everyone vaccinated as soon as possible. While it is technically preferable to wait the full 12 weeks, the difference between that and waiting just six weeks is negligible in the scheme of things.
“That matches the dosage interval for the Pfizer vaccine,” Victoria’s Deputy Chief Health Officer Ben Cowie said at the daily coronavirus press conference on Thursday.
“So it would be six weeks for AstraZeneca and for Pfizer bookings going forward, and these changes will be active in the booking system from today.
“So this change and the additional supply of Pfizer vaccine from the Commonwealth when it arrived in Victoria will help us to reach our vaccination targets faster, but more importantly, they will really contribute to the response to community transmission, put a downward pressure on cases and contribute to protecting our health system as we look after all Victorians.
“There is nothing more important, as we come towards the end of the year, than getting vaccinated.”
Cowie noted that three quarters of active COVID cases in Victoria are young people under the age of 40.
“There are a few reasons for that, but one of them clearly is the higher levels of vaccination in older age groups, and that really emphasises the urgent need to get vaccination to every eligible Victorian we possibly can, as soon as those become available,” he added.
For those of you who’ve already had your first AZ shot, it might be worth rebooking your second jab to speed up the process. There are apparently over 52,000 free appointments over the next two weeks.
“Essentially the message to people […] is that essentially if you’re sitting at seven weeks, eight weeks, nine weeks, go and get your double dose now,” Cowie said.
All adult Aussies (yep, even if those of us under 40) are currently able to get vaccinated against COVID-19. Click here to see which clinics are offering it, and talk to a doctor for more info.
The best vaccine is the first one you can get, and that’ll be our ticket out of this mess.