“I personally think if people aren’t willing to get the vaccine who are over 50 then it should be opened up to people who are willing and ready to take it,” Mr Parkinson said. “The vaccines don’t last, and if they’re not used they’re going to waste.”
Ms Drover said the government needed to roll out a stronger campaign promoting vaccination.
“There should be clearer urgency – that when it’s your turn, you book in to see your doctor straight away. Don’t wait until you feel like it,” she said. “I’m frustrated and would like to see more urgency from people around me that are eligible to get the vaccine.”
Velushomaz, a 29-year-old tech engineer from Sydney’s inner west, said he wasn’t at all worried about potential clots. “I’m only 15 minutes away from an ambulance, [and] it’s treatable,” he said.
Some of his older friends, aged 45 to 50, didn’t want the AstraZeneca vaccine under any circumstances, he said. “It’s not everyone, but there are some. It’s a bit polarised.”
Melbourne woman Sarah Moran has started a petition calling for the vaccination program to be thrown open to younger people after she “literally begged” for an AstraZeneca vaccine at a mass vaccination hub that had an oversupply, the ABC reported.
The Australian Technical Advisory Group on Immunisation changed its advice on April 8 to make Pfizer the preferred vaccine for people under 50 due to a very low risk of a rare clotting disorder.
This recommendation was based on a risk calculus that for under 50s, the chance of severe illness or death from COVID-19 was lower than for older people.
Former deputy chief medical officer Nick Coatsworth said it was a matter of patient autonomy, and if someone under 50 wanted the AstraZeneca vaccine after being presented with the information, they should be able to have it.
Chief Medical Officer Paul Kelly last week indicated there could be changes to the vaccine rollout, and authorities were closely watching how the Victorian outbreak progressed before making any decisions.