‘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.
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 of 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.’
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 a auto-immune disorder, Guillain Barre Syndrome, which can cause paralysis, my GP fumed.
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.
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. Four Australians have died from clots of more than five million doses given.
It’s a risk that protects me, my family, friends, colleagues and strangers I pass on the street from a deadly pandemic.