A link between the AstraZeneca vaccine and rare blood clots in people aged under 50 appears to have scared people off having a COVID-19 jab.
A link between the AstraZeneca vaccine and rare blood clots in people aged under 50 appears to have scared people off having a COVID-19 jab.

Reason for stark drop in vaccinations

Australia's record number of daily vaccinations has fallen after rare blood clots were linked to the AstraZeneca vaccine.

Health advice updated last week no longer recommends that COVID-19 jab for people aged under 50.

The AstraZeneca vaccine is still deemed safe and effective for people aged over 50, but the number of vaccines being administered has dropped in the wake of the revelations.

Authorities on Friday celebrated Australia hitting one million doses and a record number of 81,297 daily doses.

But only 60,991 vaccines were administered on Tuesday.

Prime Minister Scott Morrison said that figure was up from the previous day when 56,379 doses were administered.

"The challenge now is the medical advice that has been received that deals with the rather rare instance where you can have the clotting occur for those who are under 50," Mr Morrison said.

"Right now, our focus is on vaccinating people who the AstraZeneca vaccine does not present a challenge (to)."

The government is now releasing daily vaccine data. Picture: NCA NewsWire/Gary Ramage
The government is now releasing daily vaccine data. Picture: NCA NewsWire/Gary Ramage

RELATED:Australia rules out one-jab vaccine

Health ministers will meet on Thursday night, while national cabinet will begin meeting twice a week from Monday to discuss the nation's troubled vaccine rollout.

Mr Morrison said the AstraZeneca vaccine could be used to ramp up vaccinations in people aged over 50 from June or July.

This is ahead of the Novavax jab receiving approval for use and an additional 20 million Pfizer doses arriving between October and December.

Under the initial plan, pharmacies were due to begin administering doses from mid-year.

But Mr Morrison said a substantial number of vaccines would only be available in the fourth quarter of the year, prompting the government to rethink the delivery.

"We would like to see this done before the end of the year," he said.

"But that will only be possible if we can ensure we have the mass vaccination program in place.

"We will now need to weigh up the various options that we have for mass vaccination centres for those aged over 50, and whether that is a viable option.

"Or we can continue to do that at a sufficient rate using the previous method, which was to be done through GPs and pharmacies."

Originally published as Reason for stark drop in vaccinations