Federal health authorities have said concerns of blood clots and anaphylactic reactions from the AstraZeneca COVID-19 vaccine are “not significant” and should cause “no reason” for concern.
Health Department secretary Brendan Murphy addressed reports four Queenslanders had suffered reactions after having the vaccine.
“We have seen anaphylaxis with the Pfizer vaccine, we have seen it with the AstraZeneca vaccine, and they have all been expertly treated,” Professor Murphy said.
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“We would expect to see anaphylaxis, and we would have adrenaline on hand and know how to manage the condition.”
Professor Murphy said the fear of blood clots was “not a significant issue” and there had not been “any issues” to suggest there is any higher increase of stroke.
“All the evidence we have seen suggests there is no increase above what you would expect in the population,” he added.
It comes after Queensland authorities revealed four people had anaphylactic reactions to the AstraZeneca vaccine in the past 48 hours.
One case occurred in Bundaberg, one in Toowoomba and two in Ipswich.
Dr John Wakefield, director-general of Queensland Health, equated the reactions to being something like “a bee sting”.
“It is the sort of response that someone has like when they have a bee sting … or if they are allergic to seafood,” Dr Wakefield said during this morning’s COVID-19 briefing.
While all four cases were given treatment immediately and were now “all safe”, Dr Wakefield suggested those with a history of anaphylaxis should “hold off” on getting the vaccine.
“It is fine for people to have the vaccination, unless they have a history of anaphylaxis reaction to products that are in the vaccine,” he said.
“What we have done is essentially said let’s have a look at these cases, let’s see if there is anything else that needs to be done.”
Dr Wakefield said at least one additional anaphylaxis reaction from the Pfizer vaccine had been noted earlier in the state’s rollout.
“We have had an anaphylaxis (reaction) with Pfizer, and we expect to get more,” he added.
The revelation comes amid Queensland’s fourth week of the vaccination rollout, with more than 3000 AstraZeneca doses already been used across the state.
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