Another death linked to AstraZeneca

Paul Hayes

5/08/2021 8:25:08 PM

A 34-year-old woman has died after developing a rare blood-clotting disorder linked to the vaccine, the TGA has announced.

AstraZeneca vial and needles
The TGA has identified 93 cases of TTS from approximately 6.8 million AstraZeneca vaccine doses administered in Australia. (Image: AAP)

The NSW woman died on Wednesday from a confirmed case of thrombocytopenia syndrome (TTS) after receiving her first dose of the AstraZeneca vaccine.
She was 34 years old.
‘In Australia, severe cases of TTS appear to be more common in women in younger age groups,’ the Therapeutic Goods Administration (TGA) announced in its latest weekly safety report. ‘Nearly half of the TTS cases in women required treatment in intensive care.’
According to the TGA, Australian TTS cases that have met the criteria for Tier 1 as defined by the US Centers for Disease Control and Prevention are twice as likely to occur in women than men.
‘Five of the six deaths occurred in women aged 34, 48 (two cases), 52 and 72 years old,’ the administration said. ‘The other death was in a 44-year-old man.’
The CDC classification for TTS:

  • Tier 1 – clots in an unusual location (such as the brain or abdomen) and a low platelet count with or without antibodies that activate platelets (anti-PF4 antibodies)
  • Tier 2 – clots found in common locations (such as the leg or lungs) and a low platelet count and anti-PF4 antibodies
  • Not classified – case does not meet the criteria for Tier 1 or Tier 2 (for example, clots in common locations with low platelet count but no evidence of anti-PF4 antibodies) 
The NSW woman’s death is the seventh in Australia linked to AstraZeneca, with six from TTS and one from immune thrombocytopenia (ITP).
The TGA has identified 93 cases of TTS (57 confirmed, 36 probable) from approximately 6.8 million AstraZeneca vaccine doses administered in Australia.
‘The TGA reviews all deaths reported in people who have received the vaccination,’ the TGA said.
‘So far, the observed number of deaths reported after vaccination remains less than the expected number of deaths that would occur naturally, or from other causes, for that proportion of the population.’
The Australian Technical Advisory Group on Immunisation (ATAGI) recently updated its advice on the AstraZeneca vaccine amid Sydney’s deteriorating COVID situation, saying all adults ‘should strongly consider getting vaccinated with any available vaccine, including COVID-19 vaccine AstraZeneca’.
ATAGI previously recommended AstraZeneca be limited to people 50 and older in April, and then to people 60 and older in June. It also recommended a shortened interval between AstraZeneca doses during ‘significant’ outbreaks earlier this month.
The latest AstraZeneca-linked death comes on the same day NSW reported another further five COVID-related deaths, taking the death toll from the current outbreak to 21 from 4319 cases.
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