Woman Dies after Receiving First Dose of AstraZeneca Vaccine
By Kamilia Palu
A woman has died five weeks after receiving her first dose of the AstraZeneca vaccine, with her symptoms suggesting she had blood clots.
The woman received the jab in Australia before travelling to the UK where she died.
If confirmed to be TTS (thrombosis with thrombocytopenia syndrome), it will bring the total number of clotting cases to 69 out of 4.8 million doses to date.
“While some of her symptoms, imaging results and pathology tests suggested TTS, the woman had another very serious and recent underlying health condition, and UK authorities have ordered a post-mortem to assess whether this condition, along with the impact of long plane and car travel from Australia to the UK, had a role in her death,” the Therapeutic Goods Association (TGA) said on Thursday.
“Her family has requested privacy, and we pass on our condolences to them at this sad time.”
It is not known whether the woman was an Australian citizen or permanent resident.
TTS causes blood clotting and low blood platelet counts, and can cause long-term disability and death.
Two other Australians died after receiving the vaccine earlier this year, a 55-year-old NSW man who died eight days after being vaccinated, and a 52-year-old woman who developed a blood clot in her brain.
In their weekly safety report, the TGA confirmed two more cases of blood clots were reported this week in a 59-year-old woman from Victoria and another woman, 52, from WA.
Three other cases from NSW have been identified as “probable” TTS cases.
The most at-risk age group for blood clots with the AstraZeneca vaccine are people in the 40s, with five in every 100,000 jabs resulting in clots.
For those aged between 18 and 29, the risk is 1.9 per 100,000 jabs, while for 30 – 39 year olds it’s 1.6 per 100,000 vaccines.
Confusion erupts over ScoMo’s vaccine advice
The vaccine age limit became a hot topic after Prime Minister Scott Morrison’s press conference on Monday where he endorsed the AstraZeneca jab for under 40s.
A bitter spat broke out between politicians and health officials over the statement, with Queensland Premier Annastacia Palaszczuk urging people of her state not to follow his advice.
More than 2600 Australians under 40 have received AstraZeneca since the prime minister’s comments.
But the mangled messaging has fuelled fear and confusion over who should get which vaccine.
Christopher Blyth, who co-chairs the Australian Technical Advisory Group on Immunisation, said people under 60 should get the Pfizer jab.
Professor Blyth said people in that age group should only be considering AstraZeneca in “pressing” circumstances.
“There are some situations where that would be warranted, but they are quite small,” he told ABC radio on Thursday.
“The ATAGI advice is that Pfizer is our preference for those under the age of 60 years.”
NSW recorded 24 new local COVID-19 cases on Friday, while the Northern Territory recorded one, and Queensland reported two.