Australia Lack of vaccine targets to test confidence
Urgent AstraZeneca Covid vaccine probe lauched after man hospitalised
Australia's medicines regulator has begun an urgent investigation into the AstraZeneca Covid vaccine after a man was hositalised with a rare blood clotting condition. The Therapeutic Goods Administration held talks with British regulators overnight probing whether the 44-year-old's low blood platelets and 22 other similar cases in the UK are linked to the vaccine.Discussions will continue on Saturday between the Australian Health Protection Principal Committee and the Australian Technical Advisory Group on Immunisation.
The Morrison government's decision to ditch its COVID-19 vaccine timetable, coming so shortly after the demise of the JobKeeper wage subsidy, could prove a double whammy for confidence.
Surveys for both consumer and business confidence are released this week - key pointers for future household spending, business investment and hiring intentions.
The ANZ-Roy Morgan consumer confidence index last week suffered its biggest drop since the start of the pandemic in the wash-up of the lockdown in Greater Brisbane and the end of JobKeeper.
Decision about AstraZeneca's use in Australia to be make this week
An urgent investigation was launched into the potential side effects of the Covid-19 vaccine after a Melbourne man who received the jab was hospitalised with a rare blood clotting condition. Experts have been holding talks with European regulators to determine whether the 44-year-old's low blood platelets and 22 other similar cases in the UK are linked to the vaccine. The Australian Technical Advisory Group on Immunisation (ATAGI) will convene on Wednesday to weigh up the risks and benefits of AstraZeneca jabs once further information is provided from international discussions.
The weekly survey, conducted at the weekend for release on Tuesday, will at least capture last week's decision by the nation's health authorities to recommend the AstraZeneca vaccine not be given to people under 50.
This followed cases abroad of blood-clotting among younger people after having the vaccine. Only one such case has so far been recorded in Australia.
Prime Minister Scott Morrison announced late on Sunday the government would no longer set targets for the remainder of the vaccine rollout, a timetable that was already in tatters.
Video: IMF: Australian economy to bounce back to pre-pandemic size within weeks (Sky News Australia)
The influential monthly National Australia Bank business survey is also released on Tuesday, while the monthly Westpac-Melbourne Institute consumer sentiment survey is issued on Wednesday.
Here's why the AstraZeneca COVID vaccine is recommended for over 50s but not other Australians
But if you're wondering what Australia's vaccine changes mean for you, or whether it's still safe to take the AstraZeneca vaccine, here's what the expert advice is saying.With the government accepting advice that the small risk of blood clots associated with the AstraZeneca vaccine means it should not be given to people under 50, its plan to vaccinate Australians against the virus is in disarray.
"The vaccine hold-up is no doubt an economic setback. It remains to be seen how material a setback," St George economist Matthew Bunny said.
"Delays in the rollout increase the risk of disruptive snap lockdowns and state border closures. It will also postpone the return of international tourists and students."
The Australian Bureau of Statistics will also release its weekly payrolls jobs report on Tuesday, a prelude to the key monthly labour force figures for March on Thursday.
Both sets of figures will provide clues to state of the jobs market before the JobKeeper program finished.
Economists expect Thursday's figures could see a further fall in the unemployment rate to 5.7 per cent after the surprising fall to 5.8 per cent in February, based on a spread of reports showing strong demand for workers.
The AstraZeneca jab and the price of fragmented decision-making .
Experts warn authorities’ divergent policies may damage trust and increase hesitancy in countries facing shortages.Sure enough, when a healthcare worker approached her with a shot of the jab developed by the Anglo-Swedish pharmaceutical giant and the University of Oxford, the 75-year-old stood firm to her conviction. With Hugony refusing to leave, a doctor finally relented after four hours and gave her a shot of the Moderna vaccine.