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Legislative Assembly for the ACT: 2021 Week 07 Hansard (Tuesday, 22 June 2021) . . Page.. 1856 ..

The new Pfizer hub at Canberra Airport will open on Tuesday, 29 June and will initially be able to offer about 1,500 doses a week, and this number will rise to around 3,000 in the coming weeks. The opening of the additional Pfizer hub is particularly welcome given the recent advice from the Australian Technical Advisory Group on Immunisations, or ATAGI, and the Therapeutic Goods Administration, which recommended that people aged 50 to 59 years should now receive the Pfizer vaccine if they haven’t already received a first dose of AstraZeneca.

People who are aged 50 to 59 are now able to book their Pfizer vaccination, and I encourage them to do so. Eligible Canberrans are able to make vaccination appointments online through the MyDHR digital health record platform or by calling the ACT government COVID-19 vaccination booking line. We, of course, acknowledge, that not everyone can book online, and we continue to operate the phone booking line from 7 am to 7 pm seven days a week.

ACT residents who are 60 years and older also have the option, of course, to contact a participating general practitioner to book their appointment, and there are more than 70 participating GPs and commonwealth-led respiratory clinics administering AstraZeneca vaccines to those people eligible in the ACT. Of course, we have seen some cancellations at Calvary clinic as well, so anyone who does want to book an AstraZeneca vaccine, I would encourage them to do so and now is a good time to get on with that.

MS ORR: Minister, what advice would the ACT government give to those people who have already received one dose of AstraZeneca who may now be hesitant about receiving a second AstraZeneca vaccine?

MS STEPHEN-SMITH: I thank Ms Orr for her supplementary question. It is a really important question. The ACT, of course, is currently implementing the advice of the Australian government for people who have already had the first dose of the AstraZeneca vaccine without any serious adverse effects. It is important that individuals receive the second dose of the same type of COVID-19 vaccine, including adults aged under 60 years of age. ATAGI noted in their advice on 17 June that people who have had the first dose of the COVID-19 vaccine from AstraZeneca without any serious adverse effects can be given a second dose, including adults under 50 years of age as well and under 60 years of age.

The ACT government, following national cabinet and advice from states and territories, has accepted the advice of ATAGI that the use of the Pfizer vaccine is generally now recommended in adults under 60 years of age who have not had that first AstraZeneca dose. But we have also accepted ATAGI’s further advice that people who have had the first dose of AstraZeneca without any serious adverse effects can be given the second dose to complete their course. That includes all people aged under 60. This is supported by data indicating a vastly lower rate of thrombosis and thrombocytopenia syndrome—or TTS—following a second COVID-19 AstraZeneca dose compared to what was already a very small risk associated with a first dose.

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