AstraZenica COVID-19 vaccine

Information about the AstraZeneca COVID-19 vaccine

AstraZeneca is one of the COVID-19 vaccines. Here’s what you need to know.

What is the side effect that people are talking about?

There is evidence of a likely link between the AstraZeneca vaccine and an extremely rare blood clotting syndrome (thrombosis with thrombocytopenia). 

The recommendation from the Australian Technical Advisory Group on Immunisation (ATAGI) is that use of the Comirnaty COVID-19 vaccine (Pfizer) is preferred over the AstraZeneca COVID-19 vaccine in adults under 50 years old who have not already had a first dose of the AstraZeneca vaccine.

Is the AstraZeneca vaccine safe?

Yes. The individual benefit-to-risk balance of vaccination with the AstraZeneca COVID-19 vaccine varies with age.

This balance is based on factors including the increased risk of complications from COVID-19 with increasing age and the potential lower risk of this very rare, but serious, adverse event with increasing age.

ATAGI has recommended the AstraZeneca vaccine remains safe to be given to people aged 50 and over.

I’ve had my first dose of the AstraZeneca vaccine, what do I do now?

If you have had your first vaccine dose without this side effect or other serious adverse effects, you should receive your second dose as planned. 

What if I’m worried about side effects?

If you have recently had your first vaccine dose and are experiencing any side effects that you are worried about, please chat with your doctor. 

I’m booked in for my first dose of the AstraZeneca COVID-19 vaccine, what do I do?

If you are an adult aged under 50, you should only receive a first dose of the AstraZeneca COVID-19 vaccine where the benefit of receiving the vaccine clearly outweighs the risk in your individual circumstance.

Chat with your doctor

You can discuss your individual benefit-to-risk balance with your doctor. Simply make a booking online with your regular GP.

More information

Refer to these government fact sheets:

In summary

Generally, if you haven’t already received a first dose of the AstraZeneca COVID-19 vaccine, then the Pfizer COVID-19 vaccine is preferred in adults aged under 50.

Information about how to receive the Pfizer COVID-19 vaccine will be available on the Department of Health website shortly.

If you’re aged 50 or older, you can still receive your AstraZeneca COVID-19 vaccine.

Source: Australian Government Department of Health

Note: This information is of a general nature only and should not be substituted for medical advice. It does not replace consultations with qualified healthcare professionals to meet your individual medical needs. Page last updated 22 April 2021.