AstraZeneca Covid-19 vaccine
(Image: AAP/James Ross)

Across 2021, pandemic rhetoric has focused on risks. Our vaccine rollout “wasn’t a race” because of the low risk of catching the virus in Australia. As outbreaks prompted lockdowns in Sydney, Darwin, Brisbane and Perth, Prime Minister Scott Morrison announced -- without the backing of national cabinet or the Australian Medical Association -- AstraZeneca would be made available to anyone under 40.

It’s all about risk, with government resources comparing the risk of blood clots per 100,000 AstraZeneca vaccines to COVID-19 deaths and hospitalisations prevented.

But AstraZeneca isn’t the only vaccine that comes with risk. New evidence has emerged about some of the potential harmful side effects of mRNA vaccines like Pfizer and Moderna. Going unvaccinated obviously is risky too -- not just because of the risk of catching what could be a mild version of the virus, but because of all the long-term health effects that come with it.