The Australian Government Department of Health have released a document entitled ‘Weighing up the potential benefits against risk of harm from COVID-19 AstraZeneca.’ The document provides information to assist patients in making an informed decision about whether or not to be vaccinated with the COVID-19 AstraZeneca vaccine.

Whilst ATAGI advises that AstraZeneca and Pfizer COVID-19 vaccines are recommended in all adults, the Pfizer vaccine is preferred in people aged under 50 years due to the risk of the very rare side-effect thrombosis with thrombocytopenia syndrome (TTS), which can occur following the first dose of COVID-19 AstraZeneca. This recommendation has been made based on evidence that TTS appears to be less likely in older adults.

COVID-19 AstraZeneca can be given to people aged under 50 where benefits are likely to outweigh the risks and an individual has made an informed decision based on an understanding of the risks and benefits. This document provides information on making this decision and how ATAGI measure potential benefits vs risks in different scenarios.

The full document can be accessed via the link below: