Australian authorities will review the findings of British and European regulators over concerns about the AstraZeneca Covid-19 vaccine – but continue to emphasise that the benefits outweigh the risks.
The review follows a decision in the United Kingdom to offer healthy adults aged under 30 an alternative to the Oxford/AstraZeneca jab following concerns over rare blood clots.
The European Medicines Agency also announced on Wednesday that the rare blood clots would be listed formally as a very rare side-effect of the AstraZeneca vaccine, though it did not announce any restrictions on use.
The Australian government said on Thursday it had asked the Australian Technical Advisory Group on Immunisation (Atagi) and the Therapeutic Goods Administration (TGA) “to immediately consider and advise on the latest vaccination findings out of Europe and the UK”.
The prime minister, Scott Morrison, told reporters on Thursday he expected to receive updated advice “later this evening” – but he did not foreshadow any plans to change the vaccine rollout which is heavily reliant on locally-produced AstraZeneca doses: