Australia’s medicine regulator has confirmed the death of a woman in New South Wales is “likely linked” to the Astra Zeneca vaccine.
It’s the third Australian report of a case of thrombocytopenia following the administration of the AstraZeneca vaccine, but the first death in the country.
The 48-year-old woman received the jab on the morning of April 8, just hours before the Federal Government recommended Australian’s under 50 receive the Pfizer dose instead.
ARTICLE CONTINUES AFTER THIS ADVERTISEMENT
Four days after receiving the vaccine, the woman was admitted to hospital after developing rare blood clots and sadly passed away.
Experts met overnight to discuss the woman’s case in detail, and have determined the death is most likely linked to the vaccine.
“Despite the atypical clinical features and the negative antibody test, in the absence of an alternative cause for the clinical syndrome, VSIG believed that a causative link to vaccination should be assumed at this time,” the Therapeutic Goods Administration said in a statement.
The woman also suffered from a number of other underlying health conditions, including diabetes.
“The review of this case was complicated by the patient’s underlying medical conditions, including diabetes, some other medical conditions as well as some atypical features,” the TGA said.
“In relation to this case, VSIG agreed that the case was consistent with causal association to immunisation although for this patient, anti-PF4 antibodies were absent.
“Anti PF-4 antibodies which activate platelets have been found in almost all other cases reported internationally of thrombosis (blood clots) with thrombocytopenia (very low platelets) associated with the AstraZeneca vaccine.”
An autopsy will be conducted next week, with the case set to be reviewed again before a final conclusion is made.
The other two cases of thrombosis (blood clots in the arteries and veins) are still being treated in hospital, however, the TGA confirmed they are recovering well.
There have been at least 885,000 doses of AstraZeneca COVID-19 vaccine administered in Australia to date.
Three cases of thrombocytopenia equates to a frequency of 1 in 295,000, the TGA said.