Five Australians have suffered blood clots linked to the AztraZeneca vaccine over the past week.
The five reported cases include a 66-year-old Townsville man currently in ICU and a 70-year-old Tasmanian man in hospital, a 74-year-old Victorian man, a 51-year-old woman in Victoria, and a 64-year-old woman from Western Australia. The new cases this week bring the total number of Australian thrombosis with thrombocytopenia syndrome (TTS) cases – following an AstraZeneca vaccine – to 11 out of 1.4 million administered doses.
According to the Therapeutic Goods Administration’s (TGA) weekly safety report, the blood clots are likely to be linked to the AstraZeneca Covid-19 vaccine. The TGA said it will be actively investigating an additional further three possible cases that all “involved significant blood clots”, however, it said other test results did not consistently indicate TTS.
“The TGA is working with state and territory health departments to obtain further test results and information about medical history to inform further assessment,” the health authority said. “Encouragingly, of the five cases reported in our statement on April 23, 2021 as hospitalised with thrombosis with thrombocytopenia following vaccination, four have now been discharged from hospital and are either at home or have returned to work.”
The most recent of the five cases is the 66-year-old Townsville man who is currently in ICU. In a press conference on Thursday, Queensland’s chief health officer Dr Jeanette Young said the man had received his initial AztraZeneca jab on March 30 and soon afterwards had a reaction which then worsened over time.
“The TGA, I understand, will announce later today a case of thrombosis following an AstraZeneca vaccination in a 66-year-old gentleman in Townsville,” she said. “He has been admitted to the ICU. TGA has confirmed that his illness is a direct result of the AstraZeneca vaccine.
“He received the first dose of the vaccine, on the 30th of March, subsequently developed some abdominal pain and presented to the Townsville Hospital, where he was admitted and tested,” she said. “It‘s now been confirmed that he is most likely developed that syndrome.”
Meanwhile, a 70-year-old Tasmanian man is in a stable condition in hospital. The Tasmanian Department of Health said the man reported symptoms seven days after receiving the vaccine. He is currently in hospital receiving treatment and remains in a stable condition.
Queensland Health Minister Yvette D’Ath said the vaccine incidents should not deter Aussies from being vaccinated.
“Vaccine confidence is really important,” she said. “We want as many Australians and Queenslanders to get vaccinated [as possible]. We know that is really important to protect our community and we will continue to act on the advice of the TGA.”
News of the new blood clot instances came shortly after Queensland tightened its borders to NSW following two locally acquired cases of Covid-19 in Sydney. As of 11am on Friday morning, anyone arriving from NSW who has been to one of 19 hot-spot venues in Sydney will be sent to hotel quarantine. D’Ath said police would vet arrivals and the restrictions were a “reasonable” and “proportionate” measure.