A man says he “almost died” after getting the AstraZeneca vaccine in the latest blood clot case authorities are investigating.
A man says he “almost died” after getting the AstraZeneca vaccine in the latest blood clot case authorities are investigating.

Man ‘nearly died’ after COVID jab

A Queensland man who had a stroke and developed blood clots within days of getting the AstraZeneca vaccine is convinced the jab is to blame.

The 65-year-old, of Shute Harbour, said he went into a coma and is still recovering from a stroke caused by a brain bleed. He was rushed to hospital on April 1, five days after receiving the vaccine.

"I don't believe in coincidences," he told The Courier Mail. "If I'm fighting fit, vertical, extremely active one minute and then on my death bed the next. The only thing that's changed is the AstraZeneca vaccine that I've had.

"There is a problem here. I nearly died. I don't want anyone else to go through that."

The civil engineer was on blood-thinning medication and also had type 2 diabetes and two stents in his heart.

Australia's medicines regulator, the Therapeutic Goods Administration, is investigating the man's case.

So far there have been six confirmed cases of blood clots in Australia believed to be linked to the vaccine - a 35-year-old NSW woman, 44-year-old Victorian man, 48-year-old NSW woman, a 49-year-old Queensland man, a Western Australia woman in her 40s, and an 80-year-old Victorian man.

The 48-year-old woman is the only person in Australia so far to have died.

The TGA said last week it was unlikely the deaths of two other NSW men aged 55 and 71 from blood clots were related to the vaccine.

RELATED: Is the AstraZeneca vaccine safe?

Australians over the age of 50 are now eligible to receive a COVID-19 vaccine. Picture: Toby Zerna
Australians over the age of 50 are now eligible to receive a COVID-19 vaccine. Picture: Toby Zerna

All of the blood clot cases received their first dose of AstraZeneca COVID vaccine between four and 26 days before the onset of symptoms.

Health authorities and Prime Minister Scott Morrison, whose mother has been vaccinated with AstraZeneca, have said the vaccine is safe and the benefits outweigh the risks for those aged over 50.

"The risk benefit for over-50s is vastly in favour of being vaccinated," Health Department secretary Professor Brendan Murphy told reporters on April 22.

Over-50s now eligible for COVID vaccine

This week those over 50 years of age became eligible to receive the vaccine through GP respiratory clinics and state and territory vaccination sites.

Australia had been relying on the AstraZeneca vaccine, which is the only shot being manufactured locally, to vaccinate the majority of the population. However, new health advice was issued last month that those younger than 50 should get an alternative vaccine due to a "rare but serious risk" of fatal blood clots.

The risk is much lower for older people, who are also at higher risk of developing a serious illness if they get coronavirus.

Experts suggest that Australians aged over 50 who get COVID-19 are 10 times more likely to get severely ill or hospitalised, than to get a blood clot from the vaccine.

For those aged between 50-59, the risk is about 6.5 per 100,000 (compared to 0.4 per 100,000 for blood clots). For those aged 60-69, it is 7 per 100,000 (compared to 0.2 per 100,000 for blood clots).

 

 

Vaccine saves lives, says Health Minister

Health Minister Greg Hunt, who has also had the jab, along with former prime minister Julia Gillard and former chief medical officer Brendan Murphy, said the vaccine saved lives and had been given to million of people around the world.

"We've had 1.2 million Australians take the AstraZeneca vaccine," he told reporters on April 26.

"There are over 20 million people, with numbers rising, in the UK. And around the world, it's one of the backbones of the global program."

"Following the medical advice, coming forward for vaccinating as early as you can, when it's your time, will protect you, but it can also protect every Australian."

Deakin University epidemiologist Professor Catherine Bennett told ABC she thought people would relax about getting the vaccine once others they knew had got it.

"I think as more people take up the vaccine, I think other people will then think, 'Yeah, look, there are a lot of benefits from this. My friends are fine. I'm OK with this.'

"So, I think progressively with time people will start to relax more and will probably stop chasing every single case that might or might not be related to some sort of reaction."

Symptoms to watch out for

For those getting the AstraZeneca vaccine, you should seek immediate medical attention if, a few days after vaccination, you develop symptoms such as:

• A severe or persistent headache or blurred vision;

• Shortness of breath, chest pain, leg swelling or persistent abdominal pain; or

• Unusual skin bruising and/or pinpoint round spots beyond the site of injection.

 

 

 

charis.chang@news.com.au | @charischang2

 

 

Originally published as Man 'nearly died' after COVID jab



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