He doesn't pretend to be an expert, which is why Orange resident Al Hattersley is encouraging people under 40 to speak to their GP to make sure they understand all the information surrounding the AstraZeneca vaccine.
As the latest COVID-19 crisis grips the state, Mr Hattersey received his first AstraZeneca jab last Friday after speaking to this GP in a bid to fully understand any associated health risks and weigh them against the benefits.
The 37-year-old did so after the AstraZeneca vaccine became available on request for all adult Australians despite being recommended only for those over 60, and he confirmed he's not suffered any adverse effects since.
But he said it was the advice he received from his GP prior to receiving the jab that helped him make "an informed decision" amid a whirlwind of information and changing advice during the government's vaccine roll-out.
I think it's really important people speak to their GPs about it, to make sure they have the right information.Al Hattersley
"I'm no expert, I'm an average Joe like most people, which is why I think it's really important people speak to their GPs about it, to make sure they have the right information and understand it to find out what's best for them," he said.
"My theory was simple - my GP knows my full medical history and that includes an underlying heart issue, so if she was concerned about me having this vaccine she would say so.
"I wasn't hesitant anyway, my brother had both his AstraZeneca jabs in the UK some time ago and my mum's had one too, they were both fine afterward."
The availability of the internationally-made Pfizer vaccine came into Mr Hattersley's decision, on Wednesday the government's COVID-19 taskforce revealed people under 40 aren't expected to be eligible for that jab until September or October
That aligns with the recent announcement 27.6 million doses of the Pfizer vaccine are expected to be delivered between October and December, with the AstraZeneca jab to be discontinued thereafter except by request.
Initially the AstraZeneca jab was recommended for people aged 50-59 as well, but that was adjusted due to changing advice based around the rare risk of younger people suffering blood clotting disorders linked to the jab.
The Department of Health states those disorders "may occur in around four-six people for every one million vaccinated", for those under 50 the estimated risk for their first dosage sits at 3.1 people for every 100,000.
"There's been a lot said about the risks of AstraZeneca and based on what we're reading and hearing, I completely understand why people might be hesitant to get it, but I felt like it was right for me," Mr Hattersley said.
"I was encouraged to make my own decision after I'd discussed it with my GP. Even though we've been lucky here in Australia and particularly in Orange we don't know what could happen.
"So it was right for me, because I think the benefits of being protected and helping protect others far outweigh the risk."
For people who have had a single dose of AstraZeneca, health authorities recommend getting the second jab as well.
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