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Is the AstraZeneca vaccine safe for young people?

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The Australian PM recently announced adults of all ages would be eligible to get the AstraZeneca vaccine, despite conflicting health advice

Australia’s government has made the AstraZeneca vaccine available to people under 60. While the Federal government has announced the change, under 40s won’t be able to book for a few days while the system is updated.

AstraZeneca is the country’s preferred vaccine for people over 60 based on the health advice from the Australian Technical Advisory Group on Immunisation.

The ATAGI says for those aged 60 and above, the benefits of preventing COVID-19 with the AstraZeneca vaccine outweigh the risk of TTS. Also, people who have already been vaccinated with their first dose should proceed with their second, even if they’re younger than 60.

However, there are some rare but serious complications for vaccinated young people. So, what are these potential complications? And do they outweigh the risks of contracting Covid?

“If you wish to get the AstraZeneca vaccine, then we would encourage you to go and have that discussion with your GP.”

Australian Prime Minister Scott Morrison

Head of the COVID-19 Vaccine Taskforce, Lieutenant General John Frewen, told Nine they were working to update the booking system now. 

“We’ll be onto it as quickly as we can, and I really think people should be able to start making arrangements, you know, in the days ahead, and in the next couple of weeks I hope to see the effect of these new policies,” he said.

Talk to your GP about potential health risks

President of the Australian Medical Association Dr Omar Khorshid said people should speak to their GP about the risks of AstraZeneca.

“GPs are in the best position to assess risk and talk to patients about vaccines.

“Any Australians under the age of 60 wanting to have AstraZeneca, talk to your GP who can advise on the risks as outlined by ATAGI and in relation to their own health.

What are the chances of getting a blood clot from AstraZeneca?

Medical professionals have linked the AstraZeneca vaccine to a blood clotting disorder called thrombosis with thrombocytopenia syndrome (TTS).

TTS is extremely rare and treatable. It’s likely to occur with the first dose of AstraZeneca. However, the rate of clotting incidents is low.

TSS symptoms can include a severe headache that doesn’t go away, abdominal pain, blurred vision, and leg pain or swelling. They appear four to 30 days after receiving the AstraZeneca vaccine, with a peak time of six to 14 days.

In Australia, the mortality rate for TTS is about 4 percent, which is about a 1 in a 2 million chance of death.

This is about the same likelihood of being killed by lighting.

For people aged under 50, there have been 3.1 cases of clotting per 100,000 first doses. Medical professionals can treat the condition with blood-thinning medication.

AgeEstimated risk of TTS for AstraZeneca first dose
<50 years3.1 in 100,000
50-59 years2.7 in 100,000
60-69 years1.4 in 100,000
70-79 years1.8 in 100,000
80+ years1.9 in 100,000
(Source: Australian Technical Advisory Group on Immunisation)

Natasha is an Associate Producer at ticker NEWS with a Bachelor of arts from Monash University. She has previously worked at Sky News Australia and Monash University as an Online Content Producer.

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India’s ban on single-use plastics comes into effect

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India is banning many single-use plastics in a bid to tackle pollution

India produces around four million tonnes of plastic waste each year. But authorities will begin cracking down on usage and production of single-use plastics from Friday.

India’s Government believes 60 per cent of plastic waste is recycled. But a survey by the Centre for Science and Environment found the figure was 12 per cent in 2019.

When plastic waste is not recycled correctly, it creates fire hazards and air pollution, which blankets India’s major cities. It can also enter local waterways, which poisons wildlife.

New Delhi is the world’s most polluted city.

Some plastic bags and multi-layered packaging are exempt from these latest changes.

Millions of people are employed in the country’s plastic industry, with many pushing the government to delay the ban.

Street vendors are also expressing concerns around the changes.

The nation’s capital, New Delhi is the world’s most polluted city.

The Air Quality Institute found 510 million people who live in northern India “on track” to lose 7.6 years off their lives if pollution levels remain as they are.

Local authorities are set to decide the penalties for people in breach of the single-use plastics ban.

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U.K. Government in crisis as Tory whip resigns over sexual assault allegations

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Boris Johnson’s government is in crisis as the Tory whip resigned over allegations he groped two men while drunk

In his resignation letter, Chris Pincher admitted he “drank far too much” and embarrassed himself and other people.

“I think the right thing to do in the circumstances is for me to resign as Deputy Chief Whip. I owe it to you and the people I’ve caused upset to, to do this.”

CHRIS PINCHER

According to sources from Downing Street, it is unlikely Pincher will face any further action, and he will remain as a Conservative MP.

The Sun newspaper first reported the resignation, saying he was drinking at the Carlton Club when he is accused of assaulting two other male guests.

Reports suggest several concerned Tory MPs contacted the Conservative whips’ office to complain about Pincher’s behaviour.

Prime Minister is yet to comment on the matters.

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Beijing issues a stark warning to Canberra

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Beijing is warning Australia will “bear the consequences” if there are any military disputes in the South China Sea

China’s Defence Ministry says Australia is engaging in “risky” behaviour, as surveillance jets fly near the disputed Paracel Islands.

“What is the duty of a soldier? That is to defend the homeland,” says Colonel Tan Kefei.

The islands are claimed by China, Vietnam and Taiwan.

It comes just weeks after an Australian Air Force was challenged by a Chinese J-16 fighter in the disputed territory.

A Chinese J-10 fighter, similar to the one involved in the incident.

Australia’s Defence Minister Richard Marles says some aluminium chaff was drawn into the engines of the P-8A Poseidon.

“The J-16 then accelerated and cut across the nose of the P-8 settling in front of the P-8 at a very close distance,” he said.

The aircraft made its way back to its base, and Marles said the crew responded “professionally”.

It’s believed the Chinese jet also fired flares and chaff as a countermeasure.

The Defence Minister said he had communicated his concerns to Chinese authorities over the incident.

But China’s defence spokesperson, Colonel Tan says “those who come uninvited shall bear the consequences.”

Canada has also been in the firing line, as they reportedly carry out U.N. missions near North Korea.

But Chinese authorities believe the jets were monitoring China “under the pretext of enforcing U.N. Security Council resolutions”.

“No matter what the name or excuse is, it is completely unreasonable to send military planes to the door of others to provoke and jeopardise the national security of other countries,” says Colonel Tan.

Australia’s Prime Minister met with Canada’s leader, Justin Trudeau on the sidelines of the NATO Summit in Madrid this week.

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