AstraZeneca ban shows an increase in COVID-19 vaccine hesitancy

The AstraZeneca ban for under 50s has led to increased vaccine hesitancy. Photo: File image.
The AstraZeneca ban for under 50s has led to increased vaccine hesitancy. Photo: File image.

Health authorities making the decision to ban the AstraZeneca vaccine for people under 50 has impacted confidence in COVID-19 vaccines.

This vaccine hesitancy comes following evidence of a rare, but serious, form of blood clots as one of the side effects.

Halls Head Respiratory Clinic nurse manager Kerri Dawson said when the ban was announced she expected vaccine hesitancy to amplify.

"There was an increase in vaccine hesitancy but we were expecting that. We did have cancellations due to the AstraZeneca ban," she said.

"COVID-19 still isn't prominent within our community so it's quite easy to go 'I don't need the vaccine'.

"While the reason there is less hesitancy in the UK for example is because the virus is prominent there."

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According to a Federal Health spokesperson, the AstraZeneca vaccine still had an important role in the rollout for over 50s.

"Our shared goal remains to ensure every Australian is vaccinated as early as possible," the spokesperson said.

"The AstraZeneca vaccine will continue to have an important ongoing role in the vaccine rollout for people aged over 50."

The spokesperson also made mention of work being underway to outline how the vaccine rollout would be adjusted as a result of the AstraZeneca ban.

However, Ms Dawson said the ban hadn't impacted the vaccine rollout in the Peel region.

"We saw a drop in bookings but it hasn't impacted our actual rollout," she said.

"We are still rolling it out and offering appointments to the community."

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Ms Dawson urged those eligible for the vaccine to make an appointment.

"At the end of the day the vaccine is to protect themselves and the most vulnerable in our community," she said.

"The vaccines are safe. The data has shown there is rare instances of issues with the shots but all vaccines have side effects.

"They all have rare side effects including childhood ones so there shouldn't be a reason not to get it."

Halls Head Respiratory Clinic, Mandurah Medical Centre, Shalom Medical Centre, The Bridge Family Practice, Jupiter Health Lakelands join more than 1,000 general practices across the country to be offering the vaccine as part of phase 1b of the rollout.

No clinics in Pinjarra, Waroona, Dwellingup or Boddington are included in the latest rollout.

To see if you're eligible visit, Eligibility Checker.