Clot fears force vaccine switch

Original article by Natasha Robinson
The Australian – Page: 1 & 4 : 9-Apr-21

The federal government has acted on the advice of the Australian Technical Advisory Group on Immunisation, which has recommended that AstraZeneca’s COVID-19 vaccine be restricted to people aged 50+. ATAGI stated that Pfizer’s vaccine is now preferred for people under the age of 50, after the European Medicines Agency concluded that there is a link between the AstraZeneca vaccine and a blood-clotting syndrome. Department of Health secretary Brendan Murphy says the government has acted out of an "abundance of caution", given that the extremely rare syndrome mainly affects younger people. Prime Minister Scott Morrison has conceded that the target date for giving all Australians at least one dose of a COVID-19 vaccine will need to be revised.

CORPORATES
AUSTRALIAN TECHNICAL ADVISORY GROUP ON IMMUNISATION, AUSTRALIA. DEPT OF HEALTH, AUSTRALIA. DEPT OF THE PRIME MINISTER AND CABINET, ASTRAZENECA PLC, PFIZER INCORPORATED, EUROPEAN MEDICINES AGENCY

One in two given COVID vaccines report mild side effects

Original article by Kate Aubusson
The Age – Page: Online : 7-Apr-21

Data from AusVaxSafety shows that 49.7 per cent of Australians who had received the AstraZeneca or Pfizer vaccine by the end of March had experienced at least one mild side effect. Some 1.2 per cent were sufficiently concerned to see a doctor or go to a hospital’s emergency department. More than two-thirds of people who received their first dose of AstraZeneca’s vaccine reported an adverse event, and 25.4 per cent said they had to take some time off from work, study or their daily duties. Meanwhile, 36.3 per cent of people reported an adverse event after receiving their first dose of the Pfizer vaccine; some 4.3 per cent had to miss work, study or routine duties.

CORPORATES
AUSVAXSAFETY

Morrison blames international supply issues for slow Covid vaccine rollout

Original article by Paul Karp
The Guardian Australia – Page: Online : 7-Apr-21

About 855,000 doses of COVID-19 vaccines have been administered nationally since the federal government’s rollout began in late February. Prime Minister Scott Morrison says the rollout has fallen well behind schedule because the government has not received 3.1 million doses of the AstraZeneca vaccine from Europe. It had contracted to buy 3.5 million doses from Europe in total, and a government source doubts that the remaining 400,000 doses will be delivered. Meanwhile, some 2.5 million doses that have been produced by CSL in Melbourne have yet to be distributed; Morrison says they must first undergo batch testing to ensure that they are safe.

CORPORATES
AUSTRALIA. DEPT OF THE PRIME MINISTER AND CABINET, ASTRAZENECA PLC, CSL LIMITED – ASX CSL

IMF spurs debate on JobKeeper extension

Original article by Steve Jackson
The Australian – Page: 4 : 6-Apr-21

The International Monetary Fund’s latest economic outlook report highlights the role that job-retention schemes have played in supporting nations’ economies during the COVID-19 pandemic. The Washington DC-based agency has also cautioned against winding back such measures too soon. Grattan Institute CEO Danielle Wood contends that the federal government’s fiscal capacity is sufficient to have maintained the JobKeeper wage subsidy scheme, which ended on 28 March. She notes that some sectors are still struggling in the wake of the pandemic.

CORPORATES
INTERNATIONAL MONETARY FUND, GRATTAN INSTITUTE

AstraZeneca vaccine program unlikely to be shelved – Clot risk not high enough

Original article by Tamsin Rose, Kieran Rooney
Herald Sun – Page: 11 : 6-Apr-21

The Australian Technical Advisory Group on Immunisation will meet on 7 April to discuss the future rollout of AstraZeneca’s COVID-19 vaccine. A 44-year-old Melbourne man was recently admitted to hospital with a rare blood clotting condition after receiving the vaccine. Acting Chief Medical Officer Michael Kidd says it is "likely" that the case is linked to the vaccine, but he adds that there is no evidence to suggest that the risk is sufficiently high to halt the rollout. Kidd stresses that the vaccination program is necessary as Australia will remain vulnerable to future outbreaks, particularly as its international borders re-open.

CORPORATES
AUSTRALIAN TECHNICAL ADVISORY GROUP ON IMMUNISATION, AUSTRALIA. DEPT OF HEALTH, ASTRAZENECA PLC

Treasurer warns of subsidy dangers

Original article by Geoff Chambers, Richard Ferguson
The Australian – Page: 1 & 6 : 29-Mar-21

Treasurer Josh Frydenberg says the federal government will continue to provide economic stimulus following the end of the JobKeeper scheme on 28 March. He has flagged further targeted support for sectors that have been hardest hit by the COVID-19 pandemic, and says the wage subsidy scheme had ‘stemmed the tide’ of coronavirus-induced job losses. However, he cautions that fiscal discipline is also necessary to prevent higher taxes and higher debt in the future. Shadow treasurer Jim Chalmers says JobKeeper should have been extended in a "responsible, temporary, and targeted fashion", and he has warned that the Coalition will be responsible for any job losses in coming weeks.

CORPORATES
AUSTRALIA. DEPT OF THE TREASURY, AUSTRALIAN LABOR PARTY

National cost of pandemic response to reach $327bn over five years

Original article by Patrick Commins
The Australian – Page: 4 : 5-Mar-21

The Parliamentary Budget Office estimates that the combined net debt of Australia’s three levels of government will blow out to almost $1.3tn in the five years to 2024. Federal, state and local governments are forecast to collectively spend some $327bn on COVID-19 measures over the five-year period. The independent budget watchdog now expects the national net operating balance across all levels of government in 2020-21 to be a deficit of 11.1 per cent of GDP; it had previously forecast a surplus of 1.7 per cent of GDP for the current financial year.

CORPORATES
AUSTRALIA. PARLIAMENTARY BUDGET OFFICE

How COVID-19 bumped the handshake

Original article by Andrew Taylor
The Sunday Age – Page: 8 : 27-Feb-21

A recent survey of more than 1,000 people by Roy Morgan has found that just 30 per cent want to shake hands with a colleague or stranger, down from 88 per cent prior to the COVID-19 pandemic. The percentage of people wanting to hug family and friends has declined from 87 per cent to 67 per cent, while the percentage that are happy to kiss family and friends has fallen from 63 per cent to 37 per cent. Zarife Taylor from the Australian School of Etiquette says the pandemic has resulted in an immediate change to personal greetings, but that shaking hands will remain a fundamental part of personal interaction.

CORPORATES
ROY MORGAN LIMITED, AUSTRALIAN SCHOOL OF ETIQUETTE

Increased rollout after jab target miss

Original article by Adeshola Ore
The Australian – Page: 5 : 1-Mar-21

The federal government’s COVID-19 vaccine rollout has fallen well behind schedule; just 30,000 people nationwide received the Pfizer vaccine in the first week of the rollout, compared with the government’s target of 60,000 by the end of February. However, Prime Minister Scott Morrison says the arrival of the first 300,000 overseas-made doses of the AstraZeneca vaccine will allow the inoculation of priority groups to be ramped up. Meanwhile, Victoria has recorded no new COVID-19 cases in the last 24 hours, although residents in 10 suburbs in Melbourne’s east have been put on alert after virus fragments were detected in wastewater.

CORPORATES
AUSTRALIA. DEPT OF THE PRIME MINISTER AND CABINET, PFIZER INCORPORATED, ASTRAZENECA PLC

Musicians’ plea as live music figures hit new low

Original article by Martin Boulton
The Age – Page: Online : 17-Feb-21

Australia’s live music industry has been hard hit by the COVID-19 pandemic, with data from APRA-AMCOS showing that the sector is operating at less than four per cent of pre-coronavirus levels. More than 350 artists and music industry workers have written an open letter urging the federal government to either extend the JobKeeper scheme or introduce an industry-specific wage subsidy. They note that the arts and entertainment sector employs almost 200,000 Australians and contributes about $15bn to GDP each year.

CORPORATES
AUSTRALASIAN PERFORMING RIGHT ASSOCIATION LIMITED, AUSTRALASIAN MECHANICAL COPYRIGHT OWNERS SOCIETY LIMITED