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Vaccine experts to meet after Melbourne man develops blood clots

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Australia’s medicines regulator will meet on Saturday to determine whether a case in Melbourne that developed blood clots is linked to the man being vaccinated with the AstraZeneca vaccine.

The 44-year-old man suffered from clots for the first time after receiving the AstraZeneca vaccine on March 22 and “fits the description of the case” of a blood clot reaction, according to UKTN Health reporter Dr. Norman Swan.

“He had low platelets, but he had clots in his liver, spleen and general intestine,” the Coronacast host told UKTN News.

The Australian government’s main medical advisory body, the Therapeutic Goods Administration (TGA), will meet on Saturday as part of an investigation into the man’s state of health from which he suffered for the first time.

The TGA and the Australian Immunization Technical Advisory Group will provide an update to the Australian Main Committee on Health Protection.

The TGA’s current advice, updated last month, is that there is no proven link between the AstraZeneca vaccine and blood clots.

It comes as the Dutch government temporarily shut down AstraZeneca for people under the age of 60 following a very small number of reports of unusual blood clots and three days after German authorities also stopped the use in people under 60 years old.

Meanwhile, UK regulators say they have identified 30 cases of rare blood clot events – 25 more than previously reported – but still believe the vaccine’s benefits far outweigh any possible risk.

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Two weeks ago, the European Union’s medicines regulator said the vaccine did not increase the overall incidence of blood clots following a similar fear. Most EU countries, including Germany, resumed use of the AstraZeneca vaccine on March 19.

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Australia’s Acting Chief Medical Officer Professor Michael Kidd said the ‘probable’ case of the Melbourne man was being treated ‘very seriously’ but assured the public blood clots were ‘very rare “.

“The serious risk of illness and death from COVID-19, if we have another serious outbreak, … is far greater than the very low potential risk of a very rare bleeding disorder associated with the vaccine,” said the professor. .

However, Professor Kidd has issued a warning as the vaccine continues to be rolled out as the primary inoculation that most Australians will receive.

“People need to be especially careful with severe persistent headaches that occur four to 20 days after vaccination that are different from the usual headache pattern and do not just take over-the-counter pain relievers,” he said. declared.

“If you have received the AstraZeneca vaccine and you have symptoms of a persistent headache or other worrying symptoms four to 20 days after the vaccine, you should see a doctor.”

Professor Kidd said Australian vaccine experts are in close contact with their overseas counterparts and are sharing information.

Meanwhile, concerns continue to surface over the vaccine rollout, with Queensland almost out of Pfizer’s inoculation and uncertain of when its next delivery will take place.

The federal government has withstood criticism of its handling of the vaccine rollout, with the slow pace being in part responsible for the three-day lockdown of Greater Brisbane.

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

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

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

“Perhaps until the vaccination program is accelerated by the federal government, the number of returning travelers needs to decline across Australia,” she said on Friday.

Ms Palaszczuk called for better coordination of the immunization schedule.

“We should have an ongoing list of… when deliveries are coming in and how many. It would help everyone, ”she said.

After the three-day lockdown, residents of Queensland are still subject to certain restrictions, including wearing a mask in public indoor spaces, a 30-person limit for private gatherings, and severely restricted visits to hospitals, care facilities for the elderly and the disabled, and prisons.

States and territories vary in their restrictions on travel within and outside of the Sunshine State, with Western Australia by far the strictest as its border remains closed to all of Queensland until ‘she spends 28 days without local transmission.

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

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Netherlands suspends vaccine

The Dutch government temporarily suspended vaccination against the AstraZeneca coronavirus for people under the age of 60 three days after German authorities also stopped using the AstraZeneca vaccine in those under the age of 60.

On Friday, a Dutch organization that monitors vaccine side effects said it had received five reports of blood clots with low blood plaque counts after vaccinations.

All cases occurred between 7 and 10 days after vaccinations and all affected were women aged 25 to 65.

The organization said that during the period in which the five cases were reported, some 400,000 people were vaccinated in the Netherlands with the AstraZeneca vaccine.

According to the Minister of Health, Hugo de Jonge, the temporary shutdown is a precautionary measure.

“I think it’s very important that the Dutch reports are also properly investigated,” De Jonge said.

“We have to be careful.”

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It comes two weeks after the European medicines regulator said the vaccine did not increase the overall incidence of blood clots following a similar fear.

The European Medicines Agency said at the time that the benefits of vaccination outweighed the risks, but could not rule out a link between the vaccine and some unusual types of clots, and recommended adding a warning about possible rare side effects.

De Jonge said the Dutch break precedes an update next week from the European Medicines Agency on the AstraZeneca vaccine.

-with AAP

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