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Coronavirus Australia live: update on AstraZeneca Covid vaccine recommends under-50s only be given Pfizer jab Coronavirus Australia live: update on AstraZeneca Covid vaccine recommends under-50s only be given Pfizer jab
(32 minutes later)
Follow live updatesFollow live updates
For the second time, we’ll leave it there for today. Thanks for tuning in.
Here are today’s main developments.
The government announced people under 50 would now be recommended to take the Pfizer vaccine, following findings of the British and European regulators over concerns about the AstraZeneca Covid-19 vaccine causing blood clots.
At a snap press conference on Thursday evening, Scott Morrison said he was unable to say what impact the new advisory would have on the rollout, but he conceded it would need to be “recalibrated”.
Overnight, a key UK government health committee recommended offering people under 30, considered at a higher risk of the rare blood clotting, the option to receive an alternative vaccine.
Members of parliament have been put on notice that there will be “consequences” for sexual harassment, as the government announces it will overhaul federal laws to try to stamp out sexual misconduct in Australian workplaces.
South Australian police have arrested a man for allegedly possessing an improvised explosive device while a second has been charged with the possession of extremist material during a series of raids across Adelaide targeting members of the far-right.
New Zealand has recorded a new Covid-19 case in a hotel quarantine worker and temporarily suspended entry for all travellers from India, including its own citizens, for about two weeks. The recently announced travel bubble with Australia has not yet been affected.
New South Wales police have now taken a formal statement from a longtime friend of the woman who alleged she was raped by Christian Porter – which he denies – but insist the investigation remains closed.
Scientists and environment groups are urging the government not to remove the humpback whale from Australia’s list of threatened species because of growing threats, including from the climate crisis.
The Liberal National MP Andrew Laming awarded a $550,000 grant to a rugby club with links to one of his staff members as part of the government’s controversial female sports facilities grants program.
Sydney, Melbourne and Hobart will kiss goodbye to the sunshine this weekend when a “polar blast” of icy air sends temperatures plummeting on Sunday, bringing rain, snow and even hail in some regions.
Before I leave you, here is a press release from Scott Morrison and Greg Hunt:
The Greens’ health spokeswoman, Rachel Siewert, has issued a statement.The Greens’ health spokeswoman, Rachel Siewert, has issued a statement.
She says:She says:
It’s also worth underlining that when Morrison was asked when we can expect the new timetable, he said:It’s also worth underlining that when Morrison was asked when we can expect the new timetable, he said:
The press conference has now finished.The press conference has now finished.
Just to return to some comments from the prime minister earlier.Just to return to some comments from the prime minister earlier.
He said repeatedly he could not say what the impact would be on the broader rollout, but that the effect on its early stages would be less significant.He said repeatedly he could not say what the impact would be on the broader rollout, but that the effect on its early stages would be less significant.
This is because it’s mostly people over 50 getting the vaccine. However, they are not the only people getting the vaccine.This is because it’s mostly people over 50 getting the vaccine. However, they are not the only people getting the vaccine.
The eligibility for phase 1b, according to the Department of Health, is:The eligibility for phase 1b, according to the Department of Health, is:
Elderly people aged 70 and overElderly people aged 70 and over
Healthcare workers currently employed and not included in phase 1aHealthcare workers currently employed and not included in phase 1a
Household contacts of quarantine and border workersHousehold contacts of quarantine and border workers
Critical and high-risk workers who are currently employedCritical and high-risk workers who are currently employed
Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander people aged 55 years and overAboriginal and Torres Strait Islander people aged 55 years and over
Adults with an underlying medical condition or significant disabilityAdults with an underlying medical condition or significant disability
Morrison ends with some new figures on the roll out: as of Wednesday, there had been 996,214 doses administered. Morrison ends with some new figures on the rollout: as of Wednesday, there had been 996,214 doses administered.
Kelly confirms Australia has seen only one case of blood clots after a person received the AstraZeneca vaccine.Kelly confirms Australia has seen only one case of blood clots after a person received the AstraZeneca vaccine.
Hunt is asked about possible import problems with Pfizer. He says:Hunt is asked about possible import problems with Pfizer. He says:
It’s also noted – and this is important – that the advice can change based on the Covid situation.It’s also noted – and this is important – that the advice can change based on the Covid situation.
That is, if there is a significant outbreak – like we saw in Victoria – that could impact the “risk-and-benefit equation”.That is, if there is a significant outbreak – like we saw in Victoria – that could impact the “risk-and-benefit equation”.
Question: Will all Australians get at least one jab by the end of this year? And if we were to see another Melbourne-style, Victorian-style outbreak, would you change your advice to encourage younger people to get theAstraZeneca vaccine?Question: Will all Australians get at least one jab by the end of this year? And if we were to see another Melbourne-style, Victorian-style outbreak, would you change your advice to encourage younger people to get theAstraZeneca vaccine?
Morrison says he can’t answer.Morrison says he can’t answer.
Does he have a “rough timetable”?Does he have a “rough timetable”?
Morrison emphasises it will have little impact on the initial stage of the rollout. That is because older people are among the first who will be vaccinated.Morrison emphasises it will have little impact on the initial stage of the rollout. That is because older people are among the first who will be vaccinated.
The key question – and the one Morrison says it is too early to answer – is what impact this will have on the latter stages, when people under 50 are set to get their jabs.The key question – and the one Morrison says it is too early to answer – is what impact this will have on the latter stages, when people under 50 are set to get their jabs.
Morrison then returns to a theme he has been increasingly emphasising in recent days:Morrison then returns to a theme he has been increasingly emphasising in recent days:
The point he was making is that “when we have indicated these types of markers, we have always qualified them by saying that is subject to the events that may occur”.The point he was making is that “when we have indicated these types of markers, we have always qualified them by saying that is subject to the events that may occur”.
Morrison is asked on the key questions many of you will be wondering about: what does this mean for the speed of the rollout?Morrison is asked on the key questions many of you will be wondering about: what does this mean for the speed of the rollout?
He says:He says:
Murphy says the government will be sending “preliminary information” to all its vaccination providers tonight and “we’ll provide new information over coming days”.Murphy says the government will be sending “preliminary information” to all its vaccination providers tonight and “we’ll provide new information over coming days”.
A journalist notes that Novavax is still in the approvals process with the Therapeutic Goods Administration. Where is that up to?A journalist notes that Novavax is still in the approvals process with the Therapeutic Goods Administration. Where is that up to?
Murphy says:Murphy says: