Australia Halts AstraZeneca COVID-19 Vaccine For Under 50s Over Blood Clot Concerns
Australia on Thursday joined a growing number of countries halting the use of the AstraZeneca coronavirus vaccine for younger people over fears it can cause serious blood clots.
In a further setback for Australia's already halting coronavirus vaccine rollout, officials said the AstraZeneca shot should no longer be given to people under the age of 50, unless they had already received a first dose without any ill effects.
Prime Minister Scott Morrison held an evening press conference to announce the decision shortly after the government's medical advisory board decided to follow European and other countries in limiting the use of AstraZeneca.
"It has not been our practice to jump at shadows, it has not been our practice to take unnecessary precautions," he said in explaining the step.
"We've been taking the necessary precautions based on the best possible medical advice."
Australia has been one of the world's most successful countries in containing the spread of Covid-19, with fewer than 30,000 cases and 1,000 deaths for a population of 25 million and virtually no ongoing community transmission.