I’m in the middle of a dilemma. A very worrying one, actually.
My rural Victorian city has been lucky – full credit to our townsfolk and the tough measures from our state government – in that COVID-19 has not yet pierced our invisible walls. Nonetheless, I am very keen to be vaccinated.
But there was a problem. AstraZeneca, which you have probably read, has been related to clotting deaths. The chances of dying from AZ clotting is infinitely small, but unfortunately, because of a hereditary condition (which I won’t go into), my doctor said that I’m one of that infinitely small number who is definitely at risk.
Naturally she wants me to be vaccinated, so her advice was to stay safe until Pfizer became available (which at that point, was not far away).
When Pfizer was available, I was in that age group – the wrong side of 60 – that could not have access to it.
Concerned, I wrote to Minister Hunt asking for an explanation of why – based on my condition and my doctor’s advice – I could not have access to Pfizer.
A few weeks later I received a polite two-page reply from the Department of Health telling me of the wonderful job the Federal Government was doing in response to the pandemic, and concluded that whilst they could not comment on my own condition, that if I had any concerns then I should consult my GP.
That last bit was rather odd, I thought, as I had consulted my GP… which was the reason I contacted Minister Hunt in the first place.
To satisfy myself about AstraZeneca – ie, whether it was safe for me – I sought a second opinion (same clinic, different doctor). After looking at my medical records, her advice was the same: AstraZeneca was too great a risk and she would be seeking approval for me to have Pfizer, as of course, she wanted me vaccinated.
She was unable to get that approval.
Nobody, it seems, gives a damn.
You can imagine how distressing this is; the constant government appeal to go get vaccinated yet I am not allowed to obtain the only vaccine currently available that has been recommended as suitable for me. Surely a mechanism might be available for those whose GPs do not recommend AstraZeneca in order that I might be vaccinated.
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