Melbourne blood-clotting case 'likely' linked to AstraZeneca vaccine, Deputy CMO says

Pablo Tucker
April 3, 2021

Earlier this month, the European Medicines Agency, which authorized the AstraZeneca vaccine in January, said the vaccine's benefits outweigh any risks.

Marylouise McLaws, advisor to the World Health Organisation (WHO) and professor at UNSW, said that we should not "be anxious at all" that some countries have suspended their vaccine rollouts and that clotting is likely not linked to AstraZeneca.

"Given how consist of the clinical features are in this case, with some similar cases which have been seen overseas, it is likely that this case, which is reported, is related to the vaccine", he said.

However, concerns continue to surface over the rollout of vaccines, with Queensland nearly out of the Pfizer inoculation and unsure when it will receive its next delivery.

"Cerebral venous thrombosis is a very rare disorder that has previously not been known to be associated with vaccination, however it has been noted as a complication of people who have contracted Covid-19", Kidd said.

The Australian Technical Advisory Group on Immunisation (ATAGI) COVID-19 Working Group are meeting on Friday evening to discuss further advice on the AstraZeneca vaccine.

European and United Kingdom medical regulators are yet to establish a causal link with rare instances of blood clotting disorders and the AstraZeneca jab.

"Before we start linking the dots, we just need to put this into perspective that this is a very rare event and it's likely not to do with AstraZeneca", she said.

The agency said it had identified 30 cases of rare blood clot events following use of the Oxford/AstraZeneca jab, out of 18.1 million doses administered up to and including March 24.

Some countries have restricted use of the AstraZeneca vaccine while others have resumed inoculations, as investigations into reports of rare, and sometimes severe, blood clots continue.

The European Medicines Agency said its safety committee will probably issue an updated recommendation next week.

A 44-year-old man was admitted to a Melbourne hospital with clotting days after receiving the AstraZeneca vaccine, suffering serious thrombosis and a low count of platelets, or blood cells that stop bleeding.

"That's still up in the air", said Fauci when asked whether the USA will use the AstraZeneca vaccine doses.

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