COVID-19 Update #8; 22 March 2021

COVID-19 Vaccination program.

There are several different types of COVID-19 Vaccines. It is important to have access to reliable, evidence-based information about the vaccination program, to make informed choices.

The Australian Government has signed agreements for 3 of these different types

  1. Pfizer/BioNTech Vaccine – messenger RNA (mRNA) vaccine
  2. AstraZeneca ChAdOx1-S COVID-19 vaccine – vector vaccine
  3. Novavax Vaccine – protein subunit vaccine

Currently there are reports regarding the AstraZeneca Vaccine, with 40 cases out of the over 17 million people vaccinated having blood clots. It has not been proven that the vaccine was the cause but several European countries have chosen to temporarily pause the roll out of this vaccine.

The Subcommittee of the Global Advisory Committee on Vaccine Safety for the World Health Organisation is currently reviewing and assessing the latest safety data and will communicate the findings as soon as they are available.

Today (19/3/2021), The European Medicines Agency (EMA)- ”The mission of the European Medicines Agency (EMA) is to foster scientific excellence in the evaluation and supervision of medicines, for the benefit of public and animal health in the European Union (EU).” has assessed the AstraZeneca vaccine to be safe and not the cause of the blood clots that have been reported.

Several European countries have already recommenced using the AstraZeneca Vaccine since the EMA handed down its findings.

The Australian Therapeutic Goods Administration (TGA) continues to monitor overseas data and information from Europe, in particular, regarding this vaccine. There have been no cases of blood clots in any Australian who has received the AstraZeneca vaccine to date and recommendations are to continue with the vaccination program.

The Mayo Clinic in the USA has published useful information on the 3 different types of vaccines- messenger RNA (mRNA) vaccine, vector vaccine, protein subunit vaccine and their mechanism of action.

As registered practitioners, we owe it to our patients to be able to offer credible information from reputable, proven sources so they are able to make an informed choice. The vaccine is voluntary, a choice that we all will need to make and that choice should be made with as much knowledge and proven, accurate information as possible.

Under the National Health Practitioner Regulation Law, registered practitioners from the 16 registered health professions (which includes Acupuncturists and Chinese Herbal Medicine Practitioners), are obligated to participate in efforts to promote the health of the community through disease prevention.

Each of the registered health professions has strict Codes of Conduct that govern the way registered practitioners must practise and AHPRA has confirmed that promoting or advertising any anti–vaccination messages or claims in any forum will be investigated and may lead to regulatory action.

The Federal Government and the State and Territory Government websites, NTSAWATASVICNSW and QLD provide all the relevant information on the rollout of the vaccine in each jurisdiction.

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