Sunday, June 20

Infectious Disease Experts Urge Australians to Keep Taking COVID-19 Vaccines Amid Second AstraZeneca-Related Death

Professor Robert Booy said we “don’t need to change” anything about the vaccine launch in light of yesterday’s death, stating that “the benefits still outweigh the risks.”

“No, it shouldn’t (affect the launch of the vaccine),” the infectious disease and vaccine pediatrician at the University of Sydney told Today.

Professor Robert Booy says the launch of the vaccine in Australia does not need to change following news of a second AstraZeneca-related death. (9News)

“Clearly, any death after a vaccine is a tragedy and that must be taken into account. We must do our best to minimize the side effects of vaccination, but we do not need to change.

“What is important is that GPs and emergency departments can now diagnose this bleeding condition much faster, much earlier, and as a result, people are receiving life-saving treatment.”

The death rate for those diagnosed with vaccine-related blood clots has dropped below 10 percent, Professor Booy said.

He was sitting at 40 percent when the syndrome was recognized.

“That’s still not good enough, we have to get to a negligible level, but we don’t need to change the program at this point,” he said.

“We are still clearly on the right track. We are accelerating, which is what we have to do. We are confident that the benefits still outweigh the risks.”

“Prevention is better than cure. You can get a vaccine that is safe, that is effective, and for which you get a high level of protection.”

Defense Minister Peter Dutton also weighed in on the death this morning, saying the matter should be seen in perspective.

Defense Minister Peter Dutton hopes that a proposed travel bubble between Australia and Singapore will revive the international student industry.
Defense Minister Peter Dutton speaking today this morning. (Today)

“Obviously our thoughts are with that family … it is a tragedy that there have been two deaths now from 3.6 million vaccines,” Dutton said on Today.

“We need to put that in perspective. As tragic as it is clearly for that family, we have seen circumstances where 23,000 people in Canada have died from COVID and there have been devastating numbers around the world.”

“We haven’t had that here and we don’t want it, that’s why the launch of the vaccine is important.

“If people are in doubt, talk to your GP. But every doctor in the country is saying get vaccinated as soon as you are eligible.”

Sanjaya Senanayake, an infectious disease specialist at the ANU School of Medicine, reiterated Mr. Dutton’s comments, saying that any risk associated with the vaccine is “very, very low.”

“We have administered over or around 3.5 million doses of AstraZeneca in Australia and sadly we have had two deaths, but that death rate is very, very low,” he said in Today.

“We know that the AstraZeneca and Pfizer vaccines from data from places like the UK are extremely effective in reducing serious outcomes like hospitalizations and death from COVID.

“On an individual level, it’s tragic, what happened is terrible. On a population level, there are definitely great benefits to both (vaccines).”

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