Australia Working With EU, U.K. on Local Astra Blood Clot Case

Australian authorities say they are working with the European Union and the U.K. to investigate the first local case of an unusual clotting in a patient after receiving the AstraZeneca Plc vaccine, as global concern over the safety of the shot continues to grow.

The Australian case, first reported on April 2, is currently being investigated by the country’s Therapeutic Goods Administration.

“We don’t have definitive evidence of causality,” Acting Chief Medical Officer Michael Kidd told reporters at a press briefing on Saturday. “But given how consistent the clinical features are in this case, with some similar cases which have been seen overseas, it is likely that this case reported is related to the vaccine.”

Amid growing reports of rare blood clots possibly linked to the AstraZeneca shot, the U.K.’s health regulator said the benefits of the shot continue to outweigh the risks. The U.K. has seen a total of 30 such cases as of March 24, out of more than 18 million doses given. The Netherlands on Friday joined Germany in suspending the vaccine’s use in people under 60.

The rising number of blood-clot cases and the moves to suspend or limit shots have added to the uncertainty around the vaccine, which many countries around the world were relying on for their immunization programs. The company has also faced questions over trial results and delivery schedules.

Kidd said government and health authorities plan to meet again on April 7 and will provide further advice. Rare clotting complications have occurred between day four and 20 after receiving the vaccination, Australia’s Health Department said.

The Australian Technical Advisory Group on Immunisation has reaffirmed the current settings for and safety of the country’s Covid immunization program.

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