Give S’wakians green light for AZ jabs as efficacy outweighs blood clot risk

Julian Tan

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By Nur Ashikin Louis

KUCHING, May 3: Sarawakians should be given the choice to be vaccinated with the AstraZeneca (AZ) vaccines because their safety and efficacy against Covid-19 far outweigh the risk of developing blood clots.

In stating this, a special assistant to Chong Chieng Jen, Julian Tan, urged the Sarawak government to reconsider the federal government’s offer to set up Special Vaccine Dispensing Centres (PPVs) in the State for AZ vaccination.

“The risk of blood clots by taking the AZ vaccine is only four out of one million vaccinated (0.0004 per cent) compared to 165,000 cases out of one million infected with Covid-19 (16.5 per cent).

“Even smokers have a much higher risk of blood clots at 1,763 cases out of one million (0.18 per cent),” he said in a statement today, chiding the State government’s recent decision in saying no to the vaccine for use under the National Covid-19 Immunisation Programme (NIP) in the State.

Tan further said according to the Australian Technical Advisory Group on Immunisation (ATAGI), the latest clinical trials which include 57,000 people, found that the AZ vaccine to be safe and effective in protecting both the elderly and younger adults.

“There were 81 per cent fewer Covid-19 cases in vaccinated people than in unvaccinated ones. During the clinical trials, no one who got the vaccine was admitted to the hospital due to Covid-19.

“The Australian government has secured 53.8 million doses of the AZ vaccine.

“Simply put, it is far better to be vaccinated with AZ vaccine than to go down with Covid-19. Most if not all European countries have continued the use of AZ vaccines after taking risk assessments,” he added.

Tan added that the State government should not deprive many Sarawakians of the chance to choose to be vaccinated via the AZ vaccine.

“There is no harm to having extra PPVs set up in Sarawak as it can help to speed up the vaccination programme, especially with the already available AZ vaccines.

“It is not how effective the vaccines protect us from being infected by the virus, but how effectively each vaccine protects us against severe disease and dying from the virus, which we will end up in the hospital and Intensive Care Unit (ICU),” he emphasised. — DayakDaily