Australia probes AstraZeneca blood clot case

AstraZeneca vaccine
The AstraZeneca vaccine has run into problems. Photo credit: Getty

Australia is investigating whether a blood clotting case recorded on Friday is related to the AstraZeneca coronavirus vaccine, a health official said, raising concern in a nation where most people are expected to receive the drugmaker's shot.

British regulators on Thursday said they have identified 30 cases of rare blood clot events after the use of the AstraZeneca vaccine, 25 more than previously reported.

Germany's vaccine commission recommended on Thursday that people under 60-years old who have had a first shot of AstraZeneca's vaccine should receive a different product for their second dose.

The United States may not need AstraZeneca's vaccine, even if it wins US regulatory approval, Anthony Fauci, the nation's top infectious disease doctor, told Reuters on Thursday.

The Netherlands on Friday temporarily suspended use of the AstraZeneca COVID-19 vaccine for people under 60 following the death of a woman who had received a shot, the Health Ministry said.

About 10,000 scheduled appointments for vaccinations were to be scrapped as a result of the decision, news agency ANP reported.

The decision was made following new reports from medicine monitoring agency Lareb and discussions with health authorities, a Health Ministry statement said.

AstraZeneca said it was working with Dutch authorities to address any questions they had.

"Authorities in the UK, European Union, the World Health Organization have concluded that the benefits of using our vaccine to protect people from this deadly virus significantly outweigh the risks across all adult age groups," it said.

Dutch agency Lareb, which tracks medication side effects, said earlier on Friday that it has received five reports of extensive thrombosis with low platelet counts after vaccinations with the AstraZeneca vaccine, including in a woman who died.

Reuters