April 19, 2021

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‘No link’ between vaccine and blood clots, top doc says

3 min read
<p>Australia's leading medical bodies are all in agreement that the AstraZeneca COVID-19 vaccine is safe to use after concerns were raised about blood clots.</p>

Australia's leading medical bodies are all in agreement the AstraZeneca COVID-19 vaccine is safe to use after concerns were raised about blood clots.

Chief Medical Officer Paul Kelly said 11 million doses of the vaccine had been used in the UK, with no suggestion of blood clots.

"There is no signal … of a link between AstraZeneca and blood clots," he said.

Nationals Senator Matt Canavan earlier said it was "clearly time" for Australia to halt the AstraZeneca vaccine rollout.

A growing number of European countries, including France and Germany, have suspended use of the AstraZeneca coronavirus vaccine.

Mr Canavan said Australia and the United Kingdom were now isolated in continuing on with the deployment of the AstraZeneca vaccine.

READ MORE: NSW records no new local COVID-19 cases

A medical professional holds a vial of the AstraZenica coronavirus vaccine.

READ MORE: Is AstraZeneca safe? The key questions answered

"Given that we are in a country that does not face an imminent risk of coronavirus spread then surely the prudent approach here is to suspend our rollout and just take a look at the evidence that will emerge in coming months," Senator Canavan said.

"The evidence from all of these other countries' decisions indicates that there is a risk, and that has to be a relevant discussion for us.

"It's clearly time for us to suspend the rollout here in Australia if almost every European country is doing the same."

A small number of reports have emerged of people being vaccinated experiencing blood clot issues, though no conclusive evidence has yet linked it to the vaccine.

AstraZeneca has insisted the vaccine is safe, and that it has analysed data from 17 million doses.

The drug giant yesterday released a statement saying any occurrence of clotting was consistent with normal levels found among the general population.

Australia's Therapeutic Goods Administration (TGA) has approved the vaccine, but the US health authority has yet to clear it.

Earlier this morning, Treasurer Josh Frydenberg said the Federal Government is confident in the safety of the AstraZeneca vaccine and that expert medical advice maintained the jab was safe.

"The World Health Organisation and the European equivalent of the TGA have both confirmed the effectiveness of the AstraZeneca vaccine and have said they have no evidence of that causal link between the vaccine and blood clots," Mr Frydenberg told Today.

"In the United Kingdom they have successfully rolled out that vaccine, more than 12 million doses. They haven't seen that pattern or those trends in those people who have received it."

When asked by reporters if his views were alarmist and jeopardising the national vaccine rollout, Mr Canavan replied he did not believe the TGA was "infallible".

"This might well very prove to be a safe vaccine," he said.

"There's just not the imminent risk here in this country so why don't we pause and take a breath."

The Australian government has ordered more than 50 million doses of the AstraZeneca vaccine, and it is the largest vaccine supply in the country.

READ MORE: 'No reason' for Australia to pause AstraZeneca vaccine rollout: expert

Any pause of the vaccine would have a serious impact on government vaccination plans in 2021, and impact on travel, tourism and business.

Senator Canavan said he had raised his concerns with Health Minister Greg Hunt, but he was yet to receive a reply.

Former head of the Australian Medical Association Tony Bartone said moves in Europe to suspend the rollout were only precautionary, and that there was no concrete evidence the vaccine was unsafe.

He said the TGA was "one of the safest regulatory regimes in the world" and the agency was on top of all key data and evidence.

Dr Bartone said "there is no proof, no evidence" that the vaccine heightens risk of blood clotting.

Source: 9News https://www.9news.com.au/national/astrazenica-vaccine-senator-canavan-wants-australia-rollout-paused/0b575994-af43-43ae-9b68-82242e721e9c

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