27 May 2021

COVID-19 update 27 May 2021: Chief Health Officer statement - TTS cases linked to AstraZeneca vaccine

Today the Therapeutic Goods Administration (TGA) has confirmed two new cases of TTS (thrombosis with thrombocytopenia syndrome) in persons who were vaccinated in WA are likely associated with AstraZeneca vaccination.

The Department of Health is working closely with our counterparts in the Therapeutic Goods Administration (TGA) to investigate the cases.

One is a woman, aged in her early 50s, who is currently in a stable condition at a Perth metropolitan hospital.

The second is a male in his 70s, also from the Perth metropolitan area, who is recovering at home.

Due to patient confidentiality, WA Health will not be releasing further details on these patients. We ask that their privacy, and that of their families, be respected.

The Australian Technical Advisory Group on Immunisation (ATAGI) estimates the risk of TTS from AstraZeneca COVID-19 vaccination in Australia at around 2.6 per 100,000 in those <50 years and 1.6 per 100,000 in those >50 years.

Experts at ATAGI are continuously reviewing the benefit versus risk profile of both the AstraZeneca and Pfizer vaccines. Their advice, supported in WA, is that the benefit of receiving the vaccination outweighs the risk of this rare but serious adverse event.

The risk of COVID-19 remains real, as evidenced by the current situation in Victoria, and the risk of severe disease or death associated with COVID-19 illness far outweighs the risks associated with vaccination.

I want to reassure Western Australians that we have stringent vaccine safety monitoring and reporting processes in place – both here in Western Australia and Australia-wide – to detect and respond to any vaccination safety concerns.

WA’s Vaccine Safety Advisory Committee works closely with the TGA to collect and evaluate reports of any suspected side effects reported throughout State’s COVID-19 vaccination program.

I encourage you to discuss any concerns or questions you may have with your GP.

Dr Andrew Robertson
Chief Health Officer

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