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Covid-19 Australia: AstraZeneca uptake skyrockets as more young people opt in for the jab

A record number of young Australians have received their AstraZeneca jab in the past four weeks in a positive sign vaccine hesitancy is on the way out.

More than 340,500 under 60s have received their jab with under 40s accounting for a staggering one third.

The massive uptick suggests a change in attitude to the AstraZeneca vaccine after its extremely rare blood clotting side effect fuelled hesitancy across the country.   

Jackson Gray, 21, said he got the jab after deciding the benefits far outweighed the 1.6 in 100,000 risk of getting the rare blood clot.   

A record number of young Australians have received their AstraZeneca jab in the past four weeks in a positive sign vaccine hesitancy is on the way out

More than 340,500 under 60s have received their jab with under 40s accounting for a staggering one third

'My doctor explained the rates of the blood clotting and the chance of getting it and he said there's a much higher risk of blood clotting in different circumstances than from having the vaccine,' he told The Australian. 

'That kind of took the ­pressure off.'

The surge in demand comes after Prime Minister Scott Morrison opened up the jab to young people on June 28.  

The announcement went against the advice from the Australian Technical Advisory Group on Immunisations (ATAGI).

The top medical authority had recommended Pfizer as the 'preferred' option for people younger than 60.

ATAGI then changed its unofficial stance after the latest outbreak of Covid-19 began in Greater Sydney on June 16.

The organisation is now urging younger Sydneysiders to consider getting the AstraZeneca vaccine.  

Mr Gray lives in Campbelltown, one of the Covid-19 hotspots in western Sydney.

He said he felt more protected against the virus as cases continue to grow in the region with a record 239 reported on Thursday.

'With it going around here especially, cases are up every ­single day so I thought it was ­better to get the vaccine now and try to avoid getting the virus and spreading it, so we can get back to normal,' he said.

The massive uptick suggests a change in attitude to the AstraZeneca vaccine after its extremely rare blood clotting side effect fuelled hesitancy across the country

The uptick in demand among young Australians has also helped to raise national vaccination rates

Pharmacies have also been running out of the AstraZeneca vaccine with demand outpacing supply.

Cabramatta pharmacist Quinn On said he had run out of his two week supply in just four days after administering 300 shots.

'It's good to get the immunisation happening while people are enthusiastic, because there's always a lot of AstraZeneca hesitancy, especially among the ­ethnic groups,' he said.

The uptick in demand among young Australians has also helped to raise national vaccination rates. 

Around 39.46 per cent of Australians have received their first dose while 17.73 per cent have been fully vaccinated.  

More than 78 per cent of over 70s have received their first dose while 39.5 per cent have received both. 

Around 64.13 per cent of over 50s have received one dose, while 24.34 per cent are fully vaccinated. 

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