Scott Morrison has warned against rushing to conclusions after the death of a person in NSW who reportedly developed blood clots a day after receiving a COVID-19 vaccine. The 48-year-old woman was a diabetic; the ABC reports and preliminary tests have not found a conclusive link to the vaccination. The prime minister on Thursday night said the woman’s death was still being investigated by state and federal authorities. “I think there is a lot more to understand and learn about that issue, and I would caution others in making conclusions about this at this point as well,” he told reporters near Newman in Western Australia’s Pilbara region.
“We’ve been very transparent, very transparent when it comes to information on these issues and people can expect us to do that.” Mr Morrison said potential concerns around vaccine hesitancy meant it was critical that medical experts thoroughly investigate the matters. “I think it’s important, because of the fact that people can have concerns, that we follow that important process, to inform ourselves properly,” he said.
“As part of this process, the TGA is seeking further clinical information including clinical test results from the New South Wales Health Department,” a statement on the federal health department’s website said on Thursday night. When contacted about the reported death, a NSW Health spokesperson told SBS News the department would not speculate on individual cases, but “our condolences are with the family and loved ones of the person who has passed away”. The TGA is responsible for regulating and monitoring the use of COVID-19 vaccines in Australia, the spokesperson said, but NSW Health is notified when a serious or unexpected adverse event occurs.
“Many conditions can arise during normal life, whether or not a vaccine is administered, but it remains important to report any new serious or unexpected events so that safety can be appropriately monitored,” they said.
It is not yet known which vaccine the woman received.
Australians under the age of 50 were last week warned off receiving the AstraZeneca vaccine, after a link was confirmed between the jab and rare blood clots.
The prime minister received recommendations from the Australian Technical Advisory Group on Immunisation on April 8 that the Pfizer vaccine should now be adopted as the preferred vaccine for people aged under 50.
Two people have so far developed blood clots likely linked to their AstraZeneca jab in Australia – a woman in Western Australia and a man in Victoria, both aged in the 40s.
TGA chief John Skerritt emphasised on Tuesday that blood clotting associated with the AstraZeneca vaccine was so rare, “your chances of winning the lotto are much higher”.
Additional reporting by SBS News.