AMA says communication is key to vaccine confidence

15 Apr 2021

The AMA commends the Australian Government for listening to medical advice on the AstraZeneca vaccine and taking a more cautious approach to the rollout, with emerging evidence there is a very low risk of clotting associated with the vaccine. 

“I want to emphasise the AstraZeneca vaccine for people who are 50 and over is considered very safe and the benefits vastly outweigh any risks,” AMA President Dr Omar Khorshid said.  

“The system has worked as it should. The expert advice has been given and the Government is acting in line with it.” 

Dr Khorshid highlighted that while this setback may slow down the vaccine rollout, it also means the rollout is based on the best advice possible. The AMA has always strongly insisted on decisions based on the best scientific advice made independently by the Therapeutic Goods Administration (TGA) and the Australian Technical Advisory Group on Immunisation (ATAGI).  

Dr Khorshid encouraged patients to speak to their trusted GP to get clear information on the risk of this unusual and very rare clotting disorder versus the benefits for them, so they can provide informed consent. 

“The main aim now will be to properly convey this information to the community so that public confidence in the vaccine rollout is maintained,” Dr Khorshid said.   

The AMA will also continue to work closely with the Government as it seeks to reset the rollout of COVID-19 vaccines following last week’s decision to preference the Pfizer vaccine for patients under 50 years of age. 

Read the full media release here.