Vaccine experts meeting over clot report

The Australian government’s top medical advisory body is set to receive further expert guidance on the AstraZeneca COVID-19 vaccine following investigations into whether it’s linked to a Melbourne man’s rare blood clot condition.

The Therapeutic Goods Administration and the Australian Technical Advisory Group on Immunisation on Saturday will update the AHPPC on the condition, which the man has suffered for the first time.

The man, in his 40s, is in a Melbourne hospital after receiving the AstraZeneca vaccine on March 22, the ABC reported.


Similar, though very rare, cases have been reported in the United Kingdom and Europe in AstraZeneca jab recipients though no causal link with it has been found.

Australian vaccine experts are in close contact with their overseas counterparts for the sharing of information, Acting Chief Medical Officer Michael Kidd says.

He emphasised on Friday the risk of Australians contracting COVID-19 was “far greater” than the risk of a rare blood clotting disorder.

“We are taking this very seriously,” Professor Kidd told reporters.

“I acknowledge that people will be anxious and we will get more information as soon as it’s available.”

Meanwhile, concerns continue to surface over the rollout of vaccines, with Queensland almost out of the Pfizer inoculation and unsure when it will receive its next delivery.

The federal government has copped flak over its handling of the vaccine rollout, with the slow pace blamed in part for Greater Brisbane’s three-day lockdown.

Prof Kidd praised the vaccine rollout on Friday, saying that as of noon on Thursday, 750,000 doses had been administered and the rate of vaccination had tripled in the past two weeks.

Queensland Premier Annastacia Palaszczuk is concerned about the number of positive cases coming into her state and wants international arrivals halved.

She has made the request to Prime Minister Scott Morrison but is yet to get a response, and will raise the issue at the next national cabinet meeting on April 9.

“Maybe until the vaccination program is ramped up by the federal government, the number of returned travellers needs to decrease Australia-wide,” she said on Friday.

Ms Palaszczuk called for better co-ordination of the vaccine schedule.

“We should have a rolling list of … when the deliveries are coming and how much. That would just help everyone,” she said.

Following the snap three-day lockdown, Queenslanders are still under some restrictions including wearing a mask in public indoor areas, a 30-person limit on private gatherings and severely restricted visits to hospitals, aged care and disability facilities, and prisons.

States and territories vary in their restrictions on travel in and out of the sunshine state, with Western Australia by far the most strict as its border remains closed to all Queensland until it goes 28 days without local transmission.

NSW recorded its second consecutive virus-free day after a case linked to the Queensland outbreak was diagnosed in Byron Bay earlier in the week.

© AAP 2021