Three more Australians have suffered health issues after taking the AstraZeneca vaccine for Covid-19.
The Therapeutic Goods Administration (TGA) said on Friday a 35-year-old NSW woman, a 49-year-old Queensland man and an 80-year-old Victorian man all suffered blood clots.
“Symptom onset ranged from nine to 26 days after vaccination,” the TGA said.
“The VSIG (Vaccine Safety Investigation Group) concluded that all three of the cases were likely linked to vaccination.”
All three are stable and recovering. They have responded well to treatment, the TGA said.
“Whilst meeting the international and UK criteria, two of the three cases appear to be milder forms of the syndrome that were recognised very early by the treating health professionals and are responding well to treatment, and in one of the cases platelet counts were depressed to a limited extent and the patient developed symptoms unusually late (26 days after vaccination),” the TGA said.
The three latest cases mean Australia now has six people who have suffered health problems after receiving the AstraZeneca vaccine.
Five of them were people aged under 50.
The TGA said a follow-up is being undertaken to determine if any other factors, such as the patients’ health history, may have contributed to them falling ill.
AstraZeneca jabs will be available for people over 50 at state and territory vaccination centres as well as respiratory clinics from May 3, before being sent to all GPs from May 17.
There has been widespread criticism of Australia’s slow response in vaccinating the population.
Australia has had more than 1.8 million vaccinations but the initial plan was to have everyone vaccinated by October.
However, Prime Minister Scott Morrison has since removed October from the timeline.
Health Minister Greg Hunt told The Today Show on Friday, Australia is “in an incredibly strong situation”.
Mr Hunt tried to reinforce the safety of the AstraZeneca jab, which he received earlier this year alongside former Prime Minister Julia Gillard.
“We did that because we believe in it and wanted to show the demonstration that’s just part of people being vaccinated,” he told the program
“So, our job together is to provide that confidence. And this is what is going to protect us and save lives. It is about helping each individual but each of us also has the chance to protect every other Australian.”
However, Leader of the Opposition Anthony Albanese lashed the Morrison Government’s failings in the vaccine rollout.
“Scott Morrison keeps telling us the vaccine rollout ‘isn’t a race’,” he tweeted on Friday.
“Tell that to the two million people going into lockdown in Perth tonight.
“Once again, it’s ordinary Australians who are paying the price for Scott Morrison’s failure.”
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