On 16 February 2021, covid-19 vaccine AstraZeneca (now known as Vaxzevria) was provisionally approved for the active immunisation of individuals 18 years and older for the prevention of coronavirus disease 2019 (COVID-19) caused by SARS-CoV-2.
Vaxzevria is given in two separate doses.
"The decision to immunise an elderly patient should be decided on a case-by-case basis with consideration of age, co-morbidities and their environment taking into account the benefits of vaccination and potential risks." - TGA
Vaxzevria is an alternative in Australia to mRNA vaccines, Comirnaty (Pfizer) and Spikevax (Moderna).
The TGA does a regular safety report on all vaccines here.
The TGA is monitoring Vaxzevria in regard to thrombosis with thrombocytopenia syndrome (tts), guillain-barre syndrome (gbs) and immune thrombocytopenia (itp).
None of the following developments are reported by the TGA.
Vaxzevria may provide users with longer lasting immunity, and perhaps Vaxzevria, followed by Pfizer, may be optimal. Here is Dr John Campbell talking about this news [mp4].
There's an emerging understanding of blood clotting (tts) with use of Vaxzevria.
What's emerging is that clotting may be attributable to the vaccine being injected directly into the blood vessel [video] rather than into the muscle. The injection technique is called aspiration and the reader can watch it demonstrated here [video].
This is what the Australian Immunisation Handbook has to say about administration of vaccines.
"It is not necessary to draw back on the syringe plunger before injecting a vaccine. However, if you have done this and a flash of blood appears in the needle hub, withdraw the needle and select a new site for injection".
I've read this a few times and it doesn't make sense to me. Vaxzevria requires an intramuscular injection so aspirating should be the mandated method.
Before your next jab, it might be worth having a talk with your GP or nurse about aspiration.