ATAGI updates AstraZeneca COVID-19 vaccine recommendations for outbreak settings

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The expert panel advising on Australia’s COVID-19 vaccine rollout has updated its recommendations for the AstraZeneca vaccine.

The Australian Technical Advisory Group on Immunisation (ATAGI) said while recommendations for non-outbreak settings remain unchanged, some advice had been updated for areas facing a significant outbreak involving the Delta variant.

The group had updated its advice about the “optimal interval between the two doses” in an outbreak setting.

“While the recommended interval between the first and second doses of COVID-19 Vaccine AstraZeneca is between four and 12 weeks, in outbreak situations an interval of between four and eight weeks is preferred,” ATAGI said in a statement.

Generic image of a locally manufactured AstraZeneca COVID-19 vaccination vial. Credit: JAMES ROSS/AAPIMAGE

“Therefore, people in an outbreak situation who received their first dose of COVID-19 vaccine AstraZeneca more than four weeks ago should contact their vaccine provider to arrange their second dose as soon as possible.

“In non-outbreak settings, the preferred interval between doses of COVID-19 Vaccine AstraZeneca remains at 12 weeks.”

It also said the benefits of the AstraZeneca vaccine “strongly outweigh the risks of adverse effects in those under 60 years”, and that vaccination is essential for this group in the context of an outbreak.

Recommendations on the use of the Pfizer COVID-19 vaccine, are unchanged.

More to come.

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