Australia to continue review of COVID vaccinations – health minister
Australia will continue its study of coronavirus vaccinations following the death of a 48-year-old mother, which was likely caused by the vaccine, according to Health Minister Greg Hunt on Saturday.
Australia recorded the first death from blood clots in a receiver of AstraZeneca’s (AZN.L) COVID-19 shot on Friday. It was the country’s third instance of the unusual blood clots appearing in patients who had received the vaccine.
“The government would request that the Australian Technical Advisory Group on Immunisation (ATAGI) conduct a continuous study of all vaccinations in terms of their protection and effectiveness,” Hunt said during a televised briefing.
He mentioned that there would be no imminent changes to further restrict the usage of the AstraZeneca vaccine and that the Pfizer (PFE.N) vaccine would remain the best choice for people under the age of 50.
The Therapeutic Goods Administration (TGA) reported earlier this week that at least 885,000 doses of the AstraZeneca vaccines have been delivered in Australia, equating to a level of blood clot in every 295,000 cases.
Hunt also mentioned that with the Tokyo Olympics quickly approaching, a decision about whether to prioritise athletes and support personnel in the COVID-19 vaccine launch would be made in the coming week.
“We’ll like to see our Olympians get to the Olympics and that they’re healthy,” he said.
With snap lockdowns, border closures, and rapid monitoring, Australia has become one of the world’s most active countries in containing the pandemic, reducing coronavirus infections to just under 29,500 infections and 910 COVID-19 deaths.