The 48-year-old woman died four days after receiving the AstraZeneca injection. Photo / Getty Images
A new report from the Therapeutic Goods Administration describes the death of a 48-year-old Australian woman, who died four days after receiving an AstraZeneca injection.
A review conducted by the Vaccine Safety Investigation Group said a woman from the NSW Central Coast suffered from a widespread thromboembolic event that resulted in blood clots in an artery and vein and later died in hospital. The ABC has identified the woman as 48-year-old Genene Norris.
Norris is Australia’s third case of freezing after the launch of the AstraZeneca vaccine, which has been given more than 885,000 times across Australia. The first two cases are currently recovering in hospital.
A statement issued by the family said the 48-year-old was “a lovable, loving and happy character”.
“Everyone who knows Genene talks about his fun and happy character, and his sense of service to those around him. Genene’s devotion to our family is deep and brings him a lot of joy,” reads a statement from the Norris family.
“His death left a gaping void in our family. We can’t believe that this time last week he was with us and now he’s gone.
“We would like to thank the medical staff who have done all they can to save Genene. Right now, we know as much as the public knows because further medical investigations need to be carried out.
“We thank you for your understanding and respect for our privacy as we mourn our immense loss.”
Experts said the review was “complicated by the patient’s underlying medical conditions, including diabetes, several other medical conditions as well as some atypical features”.
“The overall number of reports received for blood clots after vaccination has so far been no higher than the background levels expected for a more common type of blood clotting in Australia,” the review, released on Friday evening, stated.
“This can happen to about 50 Australians every day apart from vaccination and is not associated with the very rare TTS clotting disorder.”
Professor John Skerritt of the Therapeutic Good Association said conditions that put people at risk for a thromboembolic reaction are extremely rare, at a rate of one in 300,000 in Australia.
“Obviously, we cannot explain too many issues related to the clinical condition of the woman for reasons of personal privacy,” she told a news conference Saturday.
“As the minister indicated, he was isolated before the government decision and announcement that the Pfizer vaccine was preferred over 50.
“There are antibodies that usually cause platelets to drop in numbers. These antibodies were gone in (Norris) ‘s case. It is an unusual case and this problem is being examined further.”
Health Minister Greg Hunt said the news should not deter Australians from getting a vaccine, reminding the nation of a “fortunate position” compared to other regions of the world.
“To see the global number of cases rise above 800,000 on some days and 700,000 on the current few days reminds us that we are in a safe and fortunate position that cannot be considered or guaranteed and that is why vaccination remains so important and we have in place of advice. medical and safety above all else, “he said.
Experts in this field have been quick to respond to the growing fear of vaccine side effects.
Professor of Infectious Diseases at Australian National University Sanjaya Senanayake called for calm, saying the relatively low risk of freezing shouldn’t be a barrier to not taking the vaccine at this stage.
“At this stage we haven’t found any pre-existing conditions that could be associated with the risk of freezing,” said Senanayake. ABC News Saturday morning.
“The short answer is no. Things may change within a week. At this stage we haven’t made recommendations for people who have received prior clotting to avoid vaccines.”
By comparison, Europe has recorded 86 cases of freezing from more than 25 million vaccinations.
Senanayake also cited the fact that Covid-19 “often causes freezing” at a much higher rate than currently recorded from vaccines.
“The government points to a study from the University of Oxford which showed that Covid-19 also causes frequent freezes. In fact, the chances of freezing are much higher than what we know than the AstraZeneca vaccine for people under 50 years of age. Does that change the calculations at all? “he continued.
“If you are in the ICU for Covid, you have a one in four chance of developing a freeze.”
Dr. Daniel Gregson, associate professor at the University of Calgary School of Medicine, said most people were “much better off with the vaccine” but suggested bringing AstraZeneca’s age down to as low as 35.
“Of course based on risk, most people are much better off with vaccines,” Dr. Gregson said Yahoo News.
“You could easily drop it down to 45, if not 35.”
Australia will not provide the AstraZeneca vaccine to most people under 50 following confirmation of a “rare but serious risk” of fatal blood clots, the Prime Minister confirmed last week.
If possible, under 50s will only get the Pfizer vaccine.
The change in advice follows a number of blood clots that occur in a smaller number of younger people after receiving the vaccine.
“The use of the Pfizer vaccine is preferred over the AstraZeneca vaccine in adults less than 50 years of age who have not received the first dose of the AstraZeneca vaccine,” chief medical officer Professor Paul Kelly said in a flash.
VSIG recommends that people seek medical attention immediately if, a few days after vaccination, they experience symptoms such as:
- Severe or persistent headaches or blurred vision
- Shortness of breath, chest pain, swollen legs or persistent stomach pain,
- Unusual bruising and / or round spots outside the injection site.