The changing recommendations around coronavirus vaccines have led to a sense of fear in the central Victorian community, Bendigo Health's chairman says.
Bob Cameron said the Australian Technical Advisory Group on Immunisation recommendation last week to change the age quotas for people to receive the AstraZeneca vaccine had led to reluctance about receiving the vaccine.
"As a result of all the things that have happened, we're having people over 60 saying they don't want AstraZeneca," he said.
"Bendigo Health doesn't make the federal government's roll-out rules, if you're over 60 then you get AstraZeneca.
"These are the rules we have to live with because of the limited vaccine supply number."
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The ATAGI recommended the AstraZeneca vaccine should only be given to those aged 60 and older - previously it was recommended to those aged 50 and over.
The change came after a second Australian, a 52-year-old woman, died after developing a rare case of blood clots associated with the vaccine.
Mr Cameron said the recommendation change and the discussions that followed had led to people questioning the safety of the vaccine.
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"Unfortunately it's these conversations and how these conversations have been allowed to occur that have helped undermine confidence in the vaccine roll-out," he said.
"There's certainly a greater AstraZeneca hesitancy occurring, far more than what there was previously.
"This is an issue and we know that, but for people over 60 the vaccine is safe."
Bendigo Health has been advised by the federal government that those central Victorians aged 50-59 who received their first shot of AstraZeneca before the ATAGI changed recommendation will receive a second dose of the vaccine.
For anyone under 60, they will receive the Pfizer vaccine.
Bendigo Health is currently dealing with a limited number of vaccines available to central Victorians and is asking people to register for a coronavirus vaccination appointment via bendigohealth.org.au/COVID19vaccine
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