"I don't want an 18-year-old in Queensland dying from a clotting illness who, if they got COVID, probably wouldn't die.
"We have had very few deaths due to COVID-19 in Australia in people under the age of 50 and wouldn't it be terrible that our first 18-year-old in Queensland who dies related to this pandemic, died because of the vaccine.
Queensland's Chief Health Officer Jeannette Young
On 3 July 2021 in Confusions over AstraZeneca I commented on confusions in the Australian vaccination advice and processes. I included this quote from Queensland's Chief Health Officer attacking the PM's suggestion that younger Australians should access AstraZeneca subject to doctor's advice.
Dr Young could not have foreseen the Delta variant, but her emotional reaction helped create an environment where people continue to resist the now widely available AstraZeneca vaccine. This holds even among older Australians where the vaccine is recommended. I know this from my own contact network. It also appears more strongly among culturally and linguistically distinct where clear messaging in language is very important.
Governments, especially the NSW Government, are now trying to encourage people to use AstraZeneca subject to doctor's advice on their personal situation. This actually mirrors advice previously provided. I haven't checked the statistics, but the raw numbers suggest that the number of younger Australians who have been hospitalised or died from covid already exceeds the statistical risks from AstraZeneca side effects. They also show that vaccinated Australians who do become infected are far less likely to suffer severe effects.
Young people are already opting with their feet to get AstraZeneca recognising that vaccination is the only path that will allow them to resume a normal life. Meantime, there is one plus in all this. The AstraZeneca surplus is allowing us to provide more vaccines to out neighbours!