SEVEN new cases of blood clots linked to AstraZeneca vaccine

There have been seven more cases of Australians suffering blood clots after receiving the Astrazeneca vaccine for coronavirus.

The Therapeutic Goods Administration said in its weekly report on Thursday, there have been a further seven cases of thrombosis with thrombocytopenia syndrome or TTS likely linked to the vaccine.

“Three of these cases are considered confirmed, and include a 75-year-old man from Victoria, a 75-year-old man from Western Australia, and a 59-year-old Queensland man who was diagnosed in Victoria,” the TGA said.

“Of these, only the Victorian man remains in hospital, but is responding to treatment and is in a stable condition. The other two patients are not currently in hospital and are thought to be well.

Human hands in protective purple gloves injecting into a persons upper arm.
Seven more people have suffered blood clots after being vaccinated with Astrazeneca. Source: Getty Images (file pic)

“Four other newly reported cases are considered to be probable TTS. This includes three men from Victoria aged 65, 70 and 81 years, and a 70-year-old man from NSW.”

In total, there are now 18 Australians who have suffered blood clotting after receiving the Astrazeneca vaccination.

The TGA added TTS “is a very rare event”.

Push for onshore Covid-19 vaccine manufacturing

Australia is taking steps to produce more vaccines onshore as the federal government continues to face questions over the timing of the coronavirus jab rollout.

Health Minister Greg Hunt said an approach to market would be launched within the next 10 days for companies to put their hand up to locally produce mRNA vaccines.

He expects at least one to be made in Australia by next year.

"I won't make a guarantee on that, but I am confident that over the future period we will have mRNA production in Australia," Mr Hunt told reporters in Canberra on Thursday.

Australian Health Minister Greg Hunt speaks to the media during a press conference at Parliament House in Canberra.
Australian Health Minister Greg Hunt said he's confident Australia will have mRNA production. Source: AAP

Health Department boss Brendan Murphy said the vaccine production could be broader than Covid-19, possibly extending to flu jabs.

Moderna has expressed interest in setting up an Australian base, as Mr Hunt confirmed 25 million doses of the US biotech company's vaccine had been secured.

The first 10 million are due to arrive this year while the rest - booster jabs for different variants - are slated to be delivered next year.

The minister said the two-dose Moderna jabs were central to the government's plan to deal with coronavirus variants.

"Moderna is, on the advice that we have, the most advanced of the vaccine products with relation to the capacity to adapt to booster or variant requirements," Mr Hunt said.

"We don't know everything that is going to occur in this pandemic, but our goal has been to prepare for everything that is possible."

The Moderna jab has not yet been approved by the Therapeutic Goods Administration but the company is expected to apply for that soon.

A queue forms outside at a mass Covid-19 vaccination hub in Sydney, Monday.
People line up for a Covid-19 vaccination in Sydney on Monday. Source: AAP

People under 50 are set to receive the Moderna vaccine.

CSL is making the AstraZeneca vaccine in Melbourne, while the Pfizer vaccine is fully imported.

The Morrison government has again been urged to provide clarity on when it predicts the vaccine rollout will be completed, after senior ministers provided different views.

Mr Hunt said the budget's assumption was based on vaccines being available this year.

"That means we want Australians to be able to have that access to a vaccine shot over the course of the year."

Labor's health spokesman Mark Butler is pleased the government has now got access to booster shots, but said the rollout had to ramp up.

"Booster shots need to follow having completed the full population vaccination," he told reporters in Canberra.

"And still, we can't get a clear answer from the prime minister or treasurer about when that's going to happen."

Treasurer Josh Frydenberg told reporters earlier this week all Australians who wanted to be vaccinated should have received their second dose by the end of the year, but Prime Minister Scott Morrison has walked that back.

Nearly three million coronavirus vaccine doses have been administered.

- with AAP

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