Brisbane man develops clots days after receiving Pfizer vaccine.
By NCA NewsWire
Health officials have launched an urgent investigation into how a Brisbane frontline worker developed blood clots days after receiving the Pfizer vaccine.
The Queensland government has confirmed health authorities will investigate any potential link between the Pfizer vaccine and a man who presented at a private hospital with blood clots just days after receiving the jab.
The 40-year-old man, believed to be a police officer and frontline worker responsible for patrolling Queensland quarantine hotels, received the Pfizer shot on Sunday, 9 News reported.
Deputy Premier Steven Miles said Health officials would urgently look into the matter.
“It’s too early to say if this incident is linked to the Pfizer vaccine,” Mr Miles said on Wednesday.
“Clearly, our authorities will be looking into whether there is a link; looking to see whether it can help inform that vaccine rollout.
“What people should be very confident in, though, is our medical authorities are keen to investigate any such incident and provide information and data nationally and internationally.”
A spokesman for the Department of Health reiterated Mr Miles’s comments, telling NCA NewsWire the Vaccine Operations Centre was “working closely” with Queensland Health to investigate the case.
“We take all reports of adverse reactions very seriously and they are reviewed through the appropriate channels,” a statement from the department read.
“The Therapeutic Goods Administration (TGA) has rigorous safety standards and monitors the safety of all vaccines supplied in Australia. The TGA has robust procedures to quickly detect, investigate and respond to potential safety issues if they arise.
“The TGA encourages health professionals and consumers to report suspected side effects following immunisation with COVID-19 vaccines. Every report is valuable and contributes to our safety monitoring.”
A 40-year-old man has been hospitalised with blood clots after receiving the Pfizer vaccine.
Three cases of thrombosis with a low platelet count have been reported in Australia before Wednesday’s development, with a 48-year-old woman dying in a NSW hospital last week after receiving the AstraZeneca vaccine.
Australia’s drugs regulator, the TGA, determined the death of the 48-year-old diabetic woman, who developed blood clots after receiving the AstraZeneca vaccine, was likely to be linked to the jab.
“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,” a TGA statement said.
TGA said the case had been “complicated by the patient’s underlying medical conditions, including diabetes, some other medical conditions as well as some atypical features”.
Two other rare blood clot syndrome cases in Australia were also “likely” to be linked to the AstraZeneca vaccine, which included a 44-year old Melbourne man who developed the syndrome earlier in April.
The first two cases remain in hospital but are recovering well.
The AstraZeneca vaccine remains approved for use in Australia because the risk of developing blood clots is extremely small.
The Pfizer is now the preferred COVID-19 vaccination for those younger than 50.
However, the clots prompted the federal government’s health advice to change earlier this month to favour the Pfizer COVID-19 vaccine over AstraZeneca for a large portion of the population.
The government accepted advice the small risk of blood clots associated with the AstraZeneca meant it should not be given to people younger than 50.
Combined with a shortage of vaccine doses, the national rollout has been set back considerably from its original October target.
Prime Minister Scott Morrison abandoned any timeline to complete the rollout.
The federal government believes the AstraZeneca vaccine contains fewer risks and greater benefits for older people, and justifies the very small risk associated with those younger than 50.
Prime Minister Scott Morrison wants most of the country’s under-50 population to be vaccinated during the last three months of this year.
Australia’s Chief Medical Officer Paul Kelly explained that because the rare syndrome was likely an immune response, it had a greater chance of affecting young people who have “robust” immune systems.
“This is based both on the increased risk of complications from COVID-19 with increasing age, and thus increased benefit of the vaccination, and the potentially lower — but not zero — risk of this rare event with increasing age,” Professor Kelly said.
However, the Prime Minister said he hoped to get the bulk of under-50s immunised during the last three months of this year with the help of mass vaccination hubs being created.
“There’s a lot of work to be done, given that would be effectively, if we wished, a 12-week sprint,” he said. “To be able to do that safely and effectively … there’d need to be plenty of planning to achieve that.”
The TGA has recently reassured Australians there are more than 50 blood clots reported every day, and cautioned “no presumptions should be made about the causation or nature of events which follow vaccination until such time as there has been an investigation.”