Premier Mark McGowan knocks back calls to give over 50s Pfizer jab, calls vaccine confusion ‘dangerous’

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Briana FioreThe West Australian
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VideoDoctors are confident they can spot and treat rare blood clots associated with the AstraZeneca coronavirus vaccine

Premier Mark McGowan has knocked back the idea of offering the Pfizer vaccine to over 50s who don’t want the AstraZeneca jab.

There has been hesitancy surrounding the AstraZeneca vaccine following incidences of rare blood clotting.

Senior doctor Paul Effler this week warned the risk of blood clotting was “5-8 times higher” for those aged 50-69 years than health officials thought seven weeks ago.

However, Mr McGowan said the threat of a blood clot was “miniscule”.

“The health advice at a national and State level is that over 50s should have AstraZeneca and under 50s should have Pfizer,” he said.

Mr McGowan said that decision replicated what was happening internationally and AstraZeneca was the “most-used” vaccine in the world.

“The more that confusion is promoted, the less likely (it is) people will get vaccinated and that’s dangerous,” he said.

“We need to get people vaccinated in accordance with the existing rules as quickly as possible.”

Health Minister Roger Cook and Premier Mark McGowan pose up for a photo after getting their AstraZeneca vaccines.
Camera IconHealth Minister Roger Cook and Premier Mark McGowan pose up for a photo after getting their AstraZeneca vaccines. Credit: Mark McGowan/Facebook/Mark McGowan/Facebook

The State Government this week opened up appointments for those aged 30-49 to receive the Pfizer vaccine.

Mr McGowan said he was looking at incentives and public information campaigns to encourage more people to get vaccinated.

“I just urge everyone, go and get vaccinated,” he said.

Director General of Health David Russell-Weisz today said he was “happy” with WA’s roll-out, stating there was a “great uptake” in the 30-49 age group.

He said he had received his first dose of AstraZeneca, because it was “critical” to get vaccinated.

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