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Austria withdraws AstraZeneca batch as nurse death probed

AFP
AFP - [email protected] • 8 Mar, 2021 Updated Mon 8 Mar 2021 15:47 CEST
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A package of the AstraZeneca COVID-19 vaccine is shown in the state of Brandenburg where the first coronavirus vaccinations are given in doctors' surgeries, in Senftenberg, Germany, March 3, 2021. REUTERS/Hannibal Hanschke/Pool

Austria will stop using doses from one batch of the AstraZeneca vaccine while the death of a nurse who received it is investigated, health officials have said.

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The decision had been taken as a precaution, the National Office for Health System Safety (BASG) said late on Sunday, adding that there was "no evidence of a causal link" between the jab and the woman's death.

The 49-year-old nurse died two days after having the jab from "severe blood coagulation problems" and another woman who received a jab from the same batch developed a pulmonary embolism, but is now recovering.

Both women received the vaccination at a hospital in the town of Zwettl, west of the capital Vienna.

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An autopsy is being carried out at Vienna's AKH hospital on the woman who died, with the results expected in the coming weeks.

"Based on the known clinical data, a causal relationship cannot be established, as thrombotic events are not one of the typical side effects of the vaccination," the BASG statement said.

"The necessary investigation is currently underway... to definitively rule out any possible link."

Regional prosecutors confirmed to AFP that no judicial steps would be taken against the hospital as no anomalies in the delivery, storage or administration of the vaccine had been reported.

Since inoculation campaigns began in earnest, isolated cases have been reported in some countries of people dying shortly after receiving a vaccine.

None has been linked to the vaccine.

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AFP 2021/03/08 15:47

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