Australia Workmates mourn woman, 48, who died after having AstraZeneca vaccine
Health boss admits he has NO idea if Covid vaccine causes blood clots
In March more than a dozen countries suspended the AstraZeneca jab after a handful of European patients suffered brain blockages that can cause strokes. Germany is still banning the vaccine for under 60s amid fears the clots are more prominent in young people, particularly young women.
A 48-year-old woman who died five days after receiving the AstraZeneca vaccine was a much-loved worker for the health food company which makes Weet-Bix.
Questions remain why the woman was given the British-made Covid jab, which has been linked to blood clots, a day after authorities recommended it not be administered to people under 50.
The woman received the vaccine on April 9, developed blood clots the following day, was placed on dialysis in an intensive care unit and died on April 14.
Sanitarium Health Food Company, which is based on the New South Wales Central Coast, confirmed the woman was one of its 800 employees.
AstraZeneca jab shouldn't be given to under-30s, UK regulator rules
British experts called for under 30s to be offered alternatives to the AstraZeneca jab while experts continue to investigate its link to rare blood clots. In Australia, the AstraZeneca Covid jab has been declared safe by The Therapeutic Goods Administration and is an integral part of the nation's slow-moving vaccine rollout - meaning there is no sure-fire way to demand another vaccine.Health chiefs are continuing to back the vaccine and offer it nationally while the link to blood clots is monitored - with just 79 cases in the UK out of 20 million who received the jab.
'We understand this case is under investigation by the coroner and the health department,' a spokeswoman told Daily Mail Australia.
'The company is saddened by the loss of a much loved employee, and we offer our heartfelt condolences to her family, friends and workmates.'
Sanitarium, which has its factory and head office at Berkeley Vale, makes Weet-Bix, Up & Go breakfast drinks and So Good soy, almond and coconut milks.
Outrage at AstraZeneca boss for staying in Australia
Frenchman Pascal Soriot, who has been Down Under with his family since Christmas, was accused of not properly explaining the benefits of the jab to the public as it was linked to rare blood clots. Regulators have stressed that the benefits far outweigh the risks but they have recommended alternatives for people aged under 30. On Thursday night the Australian government recommended not administering the AstraZeneca vaccine to people under 50 because of an extremely rare but serious blood clot side effect.
The company was founded in Melbourne in 1898, manufactures only plant-derived products and is wholly owned by the Seventh-day Adventist Church.
The morning after the new AstraZeneca advice was issued NSW Health announced a temporarily pause to its use until 'informed consent' forms were updated with information about the blood clot risk.
The alternative Pfizer vaccine was preferred for those under 50, such as the Central Coast woman and the AstraZeneca vaccine rollout for those over 50 resumed later that day..
Daily Mail Australia understands the woman who died was diabetic.
A NSW Health spokesman said the department could not confirm any link between the woman receiving the AstraZeneca vaccine and her death.
Addressing the woman's death, Prime Minister Scott Morrison said there was 'a lot more to understand about the issue' and pleaded for caution in drawing conclusions.
Covid vaccine setback: Fears Australians will be trapped all year
The government previously predicted overseas travel would be 'widespread' by October which was when everyone was expected to have received the jab. But the recommendation that under 50s should have the Pfizer vaccine due to a very low risk of blood clots caused by the AstraZeneca jab is expected to push back the timeline.
Australia had been relying on the AstraZeneca dose for the bulk of its vaccination program - but links to rare cases of blood clots in some countries had thrown the government's rollout into disarray.
Experts in Australia now say those under 50s should be offered an alternative, while the British-made jab has been stopped altogether in Denmark.
'I think there is a lot more to understand and learn about that issue and I would caution others in making conclusions about this at this point as well,' the prime minister said while on a visit in Western Australia's Pilbara region.
'We've been very transparent, very transparent when it comes to information on these issues and people can expect us to do that.'
Mr Morrison said potential concerns around vaccine hesitancy meant it was important that the matter was fully investigated by medical experts.
Australia reveals new Covid-19 vaccine timeline
Australia has revealed their new Covid-19 vaccine rollout timeline after concerns over the AstraZeneca jab threw the plan into chaos. Trade Minister Dan Tehan said on Sunday the aim was to have every willing Australian receive their first dose by the end of the year. 'That is definitely the aim, that is the goal we have set - trying to have all Australians have a dose by the end of the year,' he told Sky News.
'I think it's important, because of the fact that people can have concerns, that we follow that important process, to inform ourselves properly,' he said.
A spokesman for NSW Health told Daily Mail Australia it 'does not speculate on or discuss individual cases'.
Video: TGA investigates death of AstraZeneca vaccine recipient (Sky News Australia)
'But the death of anyone is always a tragedy and our condolences are with the family and loved ones of the person who has passed away,' he said.
The Therapeutic Goods Association was now investigating the woman's death, and the Department of Health had not yet established whether her clot was related directly to the vaccine.
WHICH COUNTRIES HAVE SUSPENDED THE ASTRAZENECA VACCINE?
SUSPENDED FOR UNDER-30s
Got a COVID vaccine question? Ask our medical experts in the ABC coronavirus blog
To bring you up to speed, here's a rundown of common COVID vaccines and where they fit into Australia's vaccination rollout.Associate professor Hassan Vally from La Trobe University and the ABC's national medical reporter Sophie Scott will be answering questions in the COVID blog from 11:00am AEST.
SUSPENDED FOR UNDER-55s
SUSPENDED FOR UNDER-60s
SUSPENDED FOR UNDER-65s
SUSPENDED FOR UNDER-70s
SUSPENDED FOR ALL AGES
The Australian Technical Advisory Group on Immunisation advised earlier this month that people aged under 50 should not be vaccinated with the AstraZeneca jab due to the risk of blood clots.
News of the 48-year-old's death comes on the same day Denmark announced it will be ceasing use of the AstraZeneca vaccine all together, while under 30s in the UK are already being offered alternative vaccines.
Denmark was the first country to pause the use of the AstraZeneca jab in March amid concerns about blood clots.
Several other countries followed suit though most, including Germany and France, have since resumed the use of the vaccine for older people.
Denmark has also put Johnson & Johnson's vaccine on pause pending further investigations into a possible link to rare blood clot cases.
The European Union's drug watchdog said last week that it had found a possible link between the AstraZeneca vaccine and very rare blood clot cases.
However it said the risk of dying from Covid-19 was 'much greater' than the risk of mortality from rare side effects.
The AstraZeneca vaccine is significantly cheaper than other vaccines and is easier to store as it does not require to be kept at an extremely low temperature.
The concern over clots and mixed messages surrounding the vaccine are expected to affect people's willingness to take it.
Scott Morrison promised the whole adult population would be immunised by October, but the rollout has since been derailed by the jab's link to blood clots.
The AstraZeneca jab and the price of fragmented decision-making
Experts warn authorities’ divergent policies may damage trust and increase hesitancy in countries facing shortages.Sure enough, when a healthcare worker approached her with a shot of the jab developed by the Anglo-Swedish pharmaceutical giant and the University of Oxford, the 75-year-old stood firm to her conviction. With Hugony refusing to leave, a doctor finally relented after four hours and gave her a shot of the Moderna vaccine.
Twenty million doses of Pfizer are on their way but no more help is on hand for younger Australians until at least October.
The prime minister said he 'would like' all Australians to get at least their first dose by the end of the year, but made no guarantees.
In a desperate attempt to get the stalled program back on track, he plans to create huge hubs to ramp up vaccinations.
'NSW Health investigates these events and refers its expert panel findings to the TGA, which is responsible for assessing causality,' a spokesman said.
'Many conditions can arise during normal life, whether or not a vaccine is administered, but it remains important to report any new serious or unexpected events so that safety can be appropriately monitored.
'Anyone concerned that they are experiencing a serious adverse event following vaccination should see their health care provider in the first instance or dial 000 in an emergency.'
Blood clots are a common problem for people with diabetes.
The metabolic disease, which causes high blood sugar levels, increases the risk of plaque build-up in the arteries which can cause dangerous blood clots.
In fact, nearly 80 percent of people who have diabetes will eventually die of clot-related causes, according to Heart.org.
But it still remains unclear how some Covid vaccines may trigger blood clots.
The 48-year-old's death comes just two days after it was revealed a Western Australian woman in her 40s was hospitalised with blood clots after getting the AstraZeneca vaccine.
The woman received treatment for 'thrombosis with thrombocytopenia' and is now in a stable condition.
Back in April, a 44-year-old man in Victoria also developed blood clots after being inoculated with the AstraZeneca vaccine.
He has since recovered.
Family speaks out after loved one died after receiving Covid vaccine .
Genene Norris, 48, from the New South Wales Central Coast died on April 14 after receiving the embattled coronavirus jab on April 8. She developed blood clots the next day and four days after she received the jab she was 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 is likely to be linked to the vaccine.