People living in coronavirus outbreak areas should bring forward their second dose of AstraZeneca, according to updated advice from Australia’s expert panel on vaccines.
The Australian Technical Advisory Group on Immunisation (ATAGI)’s latest advice states people in areas like Sydney should receive their second dose between four and eight weeks after their first dose.
That is a change from waiting up to 12 weeks for the second dose.
ATAGI has also urged people who live in areas with COVID-19 cases and do not have immediate access to a Pfizer vaccine to consider AstraZeneca instead.
“Shortening the gap between first and second doses will bring forward short-term protection, which is expected to be beneficial in outbreak situations,” the ATAGI statement reads.
On this basis, an interval of between 4 and 8 weeks between the first and second doses of COVID-19 vaccine AstraZeneca is preferred in an outbreak situation.
“In non-outbreak settings, the preferred interval between doses of COVID-19 Vaccine AstraZeneca remains at 12 weeks.”
ATAGI has continued to advise that Pfizer remains the preferred vaccine for people under the age of 60, because of concerns about a rare blood clotting condition linked to AstraZeneca.