‘The choice was clear’: Daily Mail Australia’s Daniel Piotrowski, 30, explains why he and many other under 40s visited their GP this week to get the AstraZeneca vaccine
I’m a 30-year-old Sydney man and on Tuesday night I put my life in grave danger: I crossed a busy highway … and not at the pedestrian crossing.
It was a bigger risk than I took moments later, when my doctor gave me the AstraZeneca vaccine, and with it, a 0.004% chance of a deadly blood clot.
For me, the choice was clear as soon as Prime Minister Scott Morrison gave the nod for under 40s to get the jab on Monday.
My chances of getting Pfizer any time soon were grim. My city, Sydney, is in the grips of the worst outbreak in a year.
And Australia isn’t getting out of this cycle of lockdowns, families separated at the border and young peoples’ dreams denied until most us get a shot.
So I made an informed decision to get the first safe and effective vaccine available to me, risking a 1.6 in 100,000 chance of a potentially reversible blood clot.
What did my doctor say? An enthusiastic ‘yes! Let’s do it.’
Sydney, Australia’s biggest city, is in the grips of its first lockdown in more than a year as the Delta Covid strain spreads, with NSW reporting 24 new cases on Thursday
Brisbane has likewise plunged into lockdown as cases spread in south-east Queensland. Above, a masked jogger and a rugged up worker
No matter what Queensland’s hysterical premier and chief doctor may say, taking a vaccine approved by the Therapeutic Goods Administration is hardly the act of a thrill-seeker.
We all take risks with our health when we drink, smoke, take drugs, exercise not enough or too much.
Likewise when we cross the road, swim in the ocean, bungee jump or walk outside during a thunderstorm.
In fact, the odds of getting a non-deadly clot from AZ are about the same as getting struck by lightning.
As my doctor said: Most drugs and vaccines come with minuscule risks.
But the chances of complications are so tiny you’re unlikely to ever hear about them.
The contraceptive pill causes clots for between 5 and 12 women per 10,000, according to the Department of Health.
It’s been freely prescribed for 60 years, with warnings mostly ignored.
Even some life-saving flu vaccines have a possible, extremely rare link to an rare auto-immune disorder, Guillain Barre Syndrome, which can cause paralysis, my GP fumed.
‘The greatest public policy disaster in Australian political history’: Australia (at the bottom) has recorded the slowest vaccine rollout of 38 OECD nations, data shows
Meanwhile, the actual official medical advice given about AstraZeneca has been grossly distorted by scaremongering politicians.
The Australian Technical Advisory Group on Immunisations (ATAGI) doesn’t say under 40s shouldn’t get AstraZeneca.
It simply says, in the a**e-covering language of health bureaucrats, that Pfizer is the ‘preferred’ option for people younger than 60.
‘COVID-19 Vaccine AstraZeneca can be used in adults aged under 60 years for whom Comirnaty (Pfizer) is not available, the benefits are likely to outweigh the risks for that individual and the person has made an informed decision based on an understanding of the risks and benefits,’ the advice says.
The odds of getting a clot from AZ are about the same as getting struck by lightning
Why then should a fully informed adult be stopped from taking this vaccine, especially when Australia has the slowest vaccine rollout in the developed world?
The jab is a risk – but a tiny one. Two Australians have died from clots of more than 4.6million doses given.
It’s a risk that protects me, my family, friends, colleagues and strangers I pass on the street from a deadly pandemic.
A first shot of AZ can provide a 70 per cent lower risk of hospitalisation due to the Delta variant, said Kirby Institute infectious diseases expert Professor Greg Dore.
The vaccine had its well-reported side effects including ‘full on’ body aches, chills and fatigue for about 24 hours afterwards
So here I am, one shot down.
Yes, about 10 hours after the jab, I felt like I’d been hit by a truck, with full-on body aches, chills and fatigue.
Thirty-six hours later, I’m feeling good.
If I’m very, very, struck-by-lightning unlucky, I could get very sick.
But I know the signs to look for – my doctor told me.
And what’s really more risky?
A tiny chance of a fatal blood clot?
Or accepting Australia’s current trajectory – where we are doomed to being prisoners of Covid for months or even years to come?
Moment Anna Palaszczuk is called out for incorrect tweet claiming the UK Government WON’T allow under 40s to get AstraZeneca – as she and her under-fire chief doctor are forced to DENY they are anti-vax and fuelling vaccine fears in Australia
By Michael Pickering
Queensland Premier Annastacia Palaszczuk provides a Covid update during a press conference in Brisbane on Thursday
Queensland Premier Annastacia Palaszczuk has stormed out of a Covid press conference after being questioned about an inaccurate social media post she wrote – as the state records two new local cases of the virus.
The Premier was challenged about a Tweet she posted on Wednesday in which she claimed the UK government wouldn’t allow under-40s to get the AstraZeneca vaccine, a claim that is untrue.
‘There is an article that talks about under-40s are to be given an alternative to AstraZeneca,’ she responded to the male reporter who probed her.
Most adults under the age of 40 will be given an alternative to the Oxford-AstraZeneca vaccine due to a link with rare blood clots, the BBC had reported.
The UK Joint Committee on Vaccination and Immunisation (JCVI) advised a preference for adults aged 30 to 39 without underlying health conditions to receive an alternative to the AstraZeneca vaccine – where available and only if this does not cause substantial delays in being vaccinated.
It followed a decision on April 7 to offer a preference for adults aged under 30.
Ms Palaszczuk then questioned the credentials of the two journalists.
‘You weren’t here yesterday either and I actually read from the article,’ she said to a male reporter who asked about the tweet. ‘I am happy to provide you with a copy of the article.’
The Tweet from the Premier that a journalist claimed was inaccurate and caused Ms Palaszczuk to abruptly end her press conference on Thursday
Ms Palaszczuk described one reporter, Channel Seven’s Bianca Stone, as ‘rude’ in one exchange, and ignored her question.
Ms Stone had Tweeted about Wednesday’s press conference in which Ms Palaszczuk and Chief Health Officer Dr Jeannette Young had attacked the federal Government over its AstraZeneca advice.
‘This media conference was disgraceful,’ Ms Stone tweeted.
Queensland’s Chief Health officer Jeannette Young said this week: ‘“I don’t want an 18-year-old in Queensland dying from a clotting illness who, if they got Covid, probably wouldn’t die’
‘All attack, no responsibility. The Premier has more media advisors than most newsrooms have journos.’
Ms Palaszczuk relies on an 18-person media team advising her on the daily Covid-19 updates.
Of the new Queensland cases, one is a close contact of the Portuguese restaurant cases identified last week and is in quarantine.
The other case is a 37-year-old woman who works at the Qatar check-in counter at the International Airport. She tested positive on Tuesday, June 29.
‘The fact we have seen a large number of testing, plus we are not seeing more widescale community cases is very encouraging,’ Ms Palaszczuk said.
‘But we’re not out of the woods yet, we’ve got another 24 hours to see what happens… but it is very encouraging news at this stage.’