The odds of developing a blood clot from receiving the AstraZeneca jab are about the same as “winning the Lotto” and the only way WA can protect itself from “a second or third wave” is to ensure everyone was vaccinated.
That was the message from Premier Mark McGowan today as he and Health Minister Roger Cook once again encouraged West Australians to get vaccinated as soon as possible and not wait for the Pfizer vaccine.
So far, more than 360,000 doses have been administered in WA with Phase 1B – those under 50 who work in aged care and disability centres as well as private and public hospitals – of the vaccination roll out program set to begin this week.
However, there is concern those aged over 50 who already qualify for the AstraZeneca jab will just wait until the Pfizer vaccine becomes more readily available after the Federal Government announced today that around two million doses of the Pfizer jab will be available in Australia every week from October.
“If you don’t get vaccinated and then we have a second or third wave here in Western Australia, you could potentially get sick or even die,” the Premier said today as he and Mr Cook launched the government’s online vaccine booking system for community and hospital-based clinics.
“Look at what happened in Britain, America, India and other countries around the world. As soon as you get vaccinated, the sooner you save yourself, your family, your loved ones.”
Mr McGowan said he understood people had concerns regarding AstraZeneca but was adamant the vaccine was far safer than not being vaccinated.
“I had a bloke say it to me the other day, but what I said to him, he was about 70, I said to him ‘Well, if we get another wave, and you’re not vaccinated, you could potentially die’. So, just come and get vaccinated. The risk of AstraZeneca is about one in 300,000 you’ll get blood clots. I mean it’s like winning a lotto. So I’ll just say, go and get vaccinated, do the right thing by yourself, your family and your own health.”
The West Australian revealed last week that only 0.42 per cent of the 302,000 West Australiansvaccinatedagainst COVID-19 over the past three months had experienced an adverse reaction.
The WA Vaccine Safety Surveillance System received 1285 reports of “suspected adverse events”. Of these, 948 were linked to the AstraZeneca vaccine and 337 to the Pfizer jab.
An adverse event can include pain, redness and swelling at site of the injection, as well as fatigue, headache, mild fever and muscle aches.
The WA Health Department said seven per cent of these suspected adverse events were “potentially serious”.
This comprised 69 cases linked to the AstraZeneca vaccine and 24 to Pfizer’s. These side effects included more significant fevers and headaches, as well as rare cases of anaphylactic shock in people who had a history of allergic reactions.
Many of the patients who have received the AstraZeneca were aged over 70 and some had underlying health conditions that might have been exacerbated by the jab.
In WA, there have been two cases of extremely rare blood clots likely linked to the AstraZeneca jab that involved a 64-year-old woman and a 75-year-old man. Both made a full recovery.
In addition to the VaccinateWA booking system coming online from Tuesday, selected clinics – starting with the Claremont Showgrounds site – will start providing the Pfizer vaccine to eligible people aged under 50 every Thursday through to Sunday. Bookings will need to be made via the online booking system at Roll up for WA.
AstraZeneca will be available every Monday to Wednesday at the Claremont Showgrounds clinic.