KEY POINTS

  • An Australian woman, 34, died of a rare blood clotting condition following her first dose of the AstraZeneca vaccine
  • The disorder, thrombosis with thrombocytopenia syndrome (TTS), was "likely" linked to the vaccine, officials say
  • Australia has administered approximately 12.4 million vaccine doses as of Sunday

A 34-year-old woman in southeast Australia has died from a rare blood clotting disease following her first dose of the AstraZeneca vaccine, health officials announced Thursday.

The unnamed New South Wales (NSW) woman was confirmed to have died Wednesday from thrombosis with thrombocytopenia syndrome (TTS), which was "likely to be linked" to the British-Swedish COVID-19 vaccine, Australia's Therapeutic Goods Administration (TGA) said in a statement.

"The TGA extends its sincerest condolences to her family and loved ones. We are in close communication with NSW health who are undertaking further investigation of this case," the TGA stated.

No other details — such as the woman's underlying health conditions — were revealed by the government agency.

"TTS is a rare event involving serious blood clots with a low blood platelet count. It is triggered by the immune system’s response to the AstraZeneca vaccine and is different from other clotting conditions," the TGA explained.

The most common time period for the onset of TTS symptoms is four to 30 days after vaccination, the agency noted.

The TGA has found seven reports of deaths likely to be linked to inoculation from 425 reports received and reviewed since the beginning of the vaccine rollout to Aug. 1, 9News noted. Six of the deaths that occurred after the first dose of the AstraZeneca vaccine were confirmed to be TTS cases, and one was a case of immune thrombocytopenia (ITP).

Five of the six TTS deaths were women aged between 34 and 72, while the singular male death was a 44-year-old.

The woman was the third confirmed or probable TTS case reported by the TGA in the week leading up to Aug. 5, with a 51-year-old NSW woman being the second confirmed case and a 67-year-old Victoria woman being assessed as a probable case.

The cases had been assessed using the U.K. case definition, according to the agency.

"This takes the total Australian reports assessed as TTS following the AstraZeneca vaccine to 93 cases (57 confirmed, 36 probable) from approximately 6.8 million vaccine doses," the TGA said.

Severe cases of TTS appeared to be more common in women in younger age groups, the health agency said. It added that nearly half of the TTS cases in women required treatment in intensive care.

The rollout of the AstraZeneca vaccine in Australia — particularly in NSW — has ramped up in recent weeks, 7News reported.

There were five COVID-19-related deaths on Thursday alone and a further 262 local cases, according to the Australian outlet.

Australia has administered approximately 12.4 million vaccine doses — broken down into 8.4 million first doses and 4 million second doses — as of Sunday, the TGA reported.

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Representation. The 34-year-old woman's rare blood clotting disease was "likely to be linked" to the AstraZeneca vaccine. Pixabay
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