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Is flying long haul riskier than getting the AstraZaneca jab?

My friends all think he’s gorgeous, but poster boy or not, Victoria's Chief Health Officer Brett Sutton has made a pretty big claim. 


While getting his AstraZeneca shot last week, Sutton said, “You are more likely to get a clot, whatever age you are, on a long-haul flight to Europe or North America". But what’s he right?



University of Adelaide haematologist and blood researcher Daniel Thomas said that deep vein thrombosis developed from flying was "common", the ABC reported. 


"There's low pressure on planes, people's knees are often bent at an angle that makes it difficult for blood to return to the heart so the bloodflow is slower, predisposing you to large vein clots below the knee," he said.


"Often people are a little dehydrated on planes and they may not think of moving around because they're asleep."


BUT Thomas said that the risk of death was "much lower" than that seen (25 per cent fatality) in the clotting syndrome linked to the AstraZeneca vaccine.


"That's the problem we're facing — is that if you develop a post-vaccine clotting syndrome, from the few cases we've seen so far, the risk of serious complications or death seems to be higher than if you developed a clot from a plane flight," he said.


So either way, once we do get back on long haul flights, remember to move around and do your exercises!


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Published: 26 April 2021

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