Health officials have launched an urgent investigation into the deaths of two New South Wales men days after receiving the coronavirus vaccine.
A ‘fit and healthy’ man died of a blood clot days after receiving a Covid-19 vaccine.
The 55-year-old died in Tamworth Hospital on April 21 after suffering what hospital staff had described as a ‘massive’ blood clot in his lungs.
It’s unclear which vaccine he received on April 13 as his devastated family told the Northern Daily Leader he was otherwise a ‘fit and healthy’ man.
A Sydney man, 71, has also died after getting the AstraZeneca COVID-19 vaccine.
It’s understood the man had several underlying health conditions, and his death is unlikely to be linked to the jab.
Any link between the vaccine and either death are also yet to be established, with both cases under investigation.
An investigation is underway into the deaths of two NSW men days after getting the Covid jab (pictured, a Sydney nurse gets her vaccine)
The Therapeutic Goods Administration confirmed that it was aware of the 55-year-old’s death case but could not comment publicly on individual circumstances to protect patient privacy.
‘All reports to the TGA of death following vaccination are reviewed to assess the likelihood that the vaccine contributed to the event or medical condition that lead to a fatal outcome,’ the TGA said in a statement on Wednesday night.
‘The reporting of an adverse event to TGA post-vaccination does not mean the event was caused by the vaccination.’
NSW Health said it is notified when a serious or unexpected adverse event occurs.
‘NSW Health investigates these events and refers its expert panel findings to the TGA, which is responsible for assessing causality,’ the department said.
If both deaths are linked to the vaccine, the two men will be among Australians to die after receiving a Covid-19 jab.
A ‘fit and healthy’ 55-year-old man died in Tamworth Base Hospital (pictured) on April 21
Genene Norris, 48, from the New South Wales Central Coast died on April 14 after receiving the AstraZeneca jab on April 8.
Ms Norris, a diabetic, developed blood clots the next day and was later placed on dialysis in an intensive care unit until her death.
The Therapeutic Goods Administration’s vaccine safety investigation found Ms Norris’ case of thrombosis was likely linked to the AstraZeneca vaccine.
Earlier this month, the federal government announced the Pfizer vaccine was the recommended shot for people under 50 after AstraZeneca COVID-19 was linked to rare blood-clotting condition thrombosis with thrombocytopenia syndrome (TTS).
There have been 1.1million doses of AstraZeneca administered in Australia as of April 22, and six reported cases of TTS.
On April 23, the TGA reported it had reviewed three suspected cases of rare blood clots caused by the AstraZeneca vaccine.
They included a 35-year-old NSW woman, a 49-year-old Queensland man and an 80-year-old Victorian man.
It concluded ‘all three of the cases were likely linked to vaccination’.
Any link between the vaccine and either death are also yet to be established, with both cases under investigation (pictured, a Sydney nurse getting the jab)
In a safety report issued on Wednesday, the TGA noted a total of six cases of the rare blood clotting disorder had been identified in Australia so far this year.
On April 21, a Queensland Police officer, 40, who worked patrolling the state’s quarantine hotels was hospitalised with blood clots after receiving the Pfizer vaccine.
Health authorities are yet to determine whether it was linked to the jab and the case is currently being investigated by the Queensland Health and the Therapeutic Goods Administration.
Meanwhile, Australians will continue to be stranded in risky situations overseas until the federal government boosts the quarantine system, Labor says.
The government has paused flights from India, including on indirect routes, until May 15.
The suspension followed medical advice that the high ratio of positive cases in people returning from India was presenting a risk to the quarantine system and the broader Australian community.
Prime Minister Scott Morrison warned a number of other countries seeing rising case numbers could also be named as ‘high-risk’ and face travel restrictions in weeks to come.
At the same time, Australia will provide millions of pieces of medical and personal protective equipment to India, as well as oxygen concentrators.
India says more than 200,000 people have died of the infection so far and is racking up about 300,000 new cases a day.
Labor foreign affairs spokeswoman Penny Wong said it was important Australia work with other countries to contain the wave of cases in India.
But the federal government should wear some of the blame for the stranded Australians, having faced calls for many months to boost the number of quarantine beds and improve the system.
‘This really has been an abdication of responsibility from Mr Morrison,’ she told the ABC.
‘He told people they would be home by Christmas and clearly that has not been the case.
‘We still do not have a system of safe national quarantine led by the Commonwealth.
‘We are now in a situation … that the longer we waited, the more perilous the situation would become and regrettably that has come to pass and Australians in India are less safe as a consequence of the prime minister’s failure to act.’
There have been 1.1million doses of AstraZeneca adminstered in Australia as of April 22
Mr Morrison visited Darwin on Wednesday to discuss the expansion of the Howard Springs facility from 800 to 2000 beds, which has not had a COVID-19 case breach during its operation.
He said half a million Australians had been enabled to return during the course of the COVID-19 pandemic.
Meanwhile, Western Australia will close three ‘high-risk’ quarantine hotels and indefinitely reduce its returned traveller intake after a COVID-19 breach prompted a snap lockdown.
NSW Premier Gladys Berejiklian said it would be ‘dangerous’ to start changing the hotel quarantine system, which to date had worked very well.
She disagreed with the idea of ‘setting up new systems in the back of nowhere’.
Victoria is expected to announce on Thursday or Friday details of a business case for a stand-alone quarantine facility.
A consortium in the southern Queensland city of Toowoomba is also advocating a facility there.