Second Aussie develops blood clots after AstraZeneca vaccine
A woman in her 40s has developed blood clots after receiving the AstraZeneca Covid-19 vaccine.
The woman, from Western Australia, is the country’s second case of thrombosis with thrombocytopenia after getting the shot, which has been marred with controversy.
She remains in hospital in a stable condition and is undergoing treatment, the Therapeutic Goods Administration (TGA) said on Tuesday.
A panel of medical experts who reviewed the case said it is “similar to cases seen in Europe and the United Kingdom of a rare clotting disorder, referred to as 'thrombosis with thrombocytopenia syndrome' (TTS)”.
The rare but potentially deadly blood-clotting disorder recently resulted in the AstraZeneca vaccine being no longer recommended to any Australians aged under 50, derailing the national vaccine rollout.
A 44-year-old Melbourne man developed the condition following his AstraZeneca vaccination last month.
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About 700,000 AstraZeneca vaccines have been administered in Australia so far, so the two cases equate to a frequency of one in every 350,000 people.
The United Kingdom has found the overall risk of these rare blood clots was approximately one in 250,000 people who received the vaccine.
The TGA said common side effects of TTS include fever, sore muscles, tiredness and headache.
"These usually start within 24 hours of vaccination and last for 1-2 days," the TGA said.
"These side effects are expected and are not of concern unless severe or persistent.
"The reports of these rare clotting complications have occurred later (between day 4 and 20 after vaccination) and have generally been severe, requiring hospitalisation."
Those who have received the vaccine and begin having a severe or persistent headache, shortness of breath, abdominal pain, leg welling, or unusual bruising around the shot site should go to the hospital immediately.
Meanwhile, the federal government has decided against buying the one-dose Johnson and Johnson coronavirus vaccine to boost the nation's immunisation stocks.
The government was in talks with the pharmaceutical giant, which had asked for initial approval for its vaccine from Australia's medicine regulator.
But Health Minister Greg Hunt has ruled out proceeding with the purchase at this stage because it is too similar to the AstraZeneca drug.
"The Janssen vaccine is an adenovirus vaccine, the same type of vaccine as the AstraZeneca vaccine," he said through a spokesperson.
"The government does not intend to purchase any further adenovirus vaccines at this time."
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