Should Australian’s be Concerned about Blood Clots with the AstraZeneca Vaccine?

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The risk factors from AstraZeneca Vaccine doesn’t disappear, it just becomes very low as you get older.

So let me explain the risk, because the risk never entirely disappears but it’s just all relative. The way it looks at the moment, and it seems to be panning out. These are the numbers that came from Scandinavia and they appear to be confirmed in Australia. That if you are under 50 and you have the AstraZeneca vaccine, you’ve got a risk of between one in 20 and one in 50,000 doses, more like one in 50,000 doses, of having this rare blood clotting syndrome.

Let me just clarify what the risk looks like. The risk doesn’t disappear, it just becomes very low as you get older. If you take all age groups, the risk of a clotting syndrome, this rare clotting syndrome, after the AstraZeneca vaccine, is about one in 200,000 doses. It’s actually about one in 166,000 doses. Now, that’s an average, but it’s different according to your age.

So if you take people under 50, the risk is more like one in 30,000, one in 50,000, thereabouts, which is much higher than one in 200,000 and makes you realize why the government’s concluded that Pfizer’s the preferred vaccine under 50. But once you get over 50, forget the average of one in 200,000, it actually drops down much lower and it’s likely at the age of 60 or 70 to be more like one in a million. So that gives you an idea where you say, “Well, one in a million? I’m not that worried. One in 50,000? Yeah, I’ll wait for the vaccine.” So it really does acutely depend on your age.

Dr Norman Swan, Physician and Journalist

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