Woman dies after COVID vaccination

Health authorities are investigating whether the death of a NSW woman is linked to her being vaccinated against COVID-19

The Federal Department of Health issued a statement saying that “the Therapeutic Goods Administration (TGA) and New South Wales Health authorities are investigating a death in NSW”.

Mainstream media including Channel Nine report that a 48-year-old woman received the AstraZeneca vaccine on Friday from her GP.

After developing blood clots, she died on Thursday at John Hunter Hospital.

According to Channel Nine, the woman had underlying conditions including diabetes, which put her in the 1B stage of the vaccine rollout.

“As part of this process the TGA is seeking further clinical information including clinical test results from the New South Wales Health Department,” Health said.

“The blood clotting disorders being investigated in connection with the AstraZeneca COVID-19 vaccine are very rare and differ from common blood clots or venous thromboembolism, which occur in around 50 Australians every day.

“The clotting disorder being investigated in connection with the AstraZeneca COVID-19 vaccine, which is now referred to as ‘thrombosis with thrombocytopenia syndrome’ (TTS), has been confirmed in only two cases out of over 700,000 people who have received the AstraZeneca vaccine in Australia.

“It has not yet been established whether there is any link between the COVID-19 vaccine and the tragic death reported by NSW health officials.

“NSW Health has said there is no confirmed link but further investigations are underway.”

The TGA has been issuing weekly reports on adverse events associated with COVID-19 vaccines.

To date, 1,178,302 doses of vaccine have been administered, with a total of 7,442 Adverse Event Following Immunisation reports received.

These include the two cases of thrombosis with thrombocytopenia syndrome referenced by the Health Department, which have been confirmed as likely to have been linked to receipt of the AstraZeneca vaccine.

The Australian National University’s Centre for Social Research and Methods told Pharma in Focus that media coverage of the death, as well as the previous clotting reactions, could increase vaccine hesitancy.

He said that AstraZeneca will likely receive blame even if the woman’s death is shown not to have been linked to her receipt of the vaccine.

“This is not based on any empirical evidence or any expertise but my guess would be the mud will still stick,” he said.

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