AstraZeneca vaccine ‘not to blame for Austrian nurse’s death’

AstraZeneca vaccine 'not to blame for Austrian nurse's death'
Photo: AFP
Europe's medicines watchdog said Wednesday a preliminary probe showed that a batch of AstraZeneca vaccines used in Austria was not to blame for the death of a nurse who received a jab.

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.

Two other reports of “thromboembolic event cases had been received for this batch,” the Amsterdam-based EMA said.

However “there is currently no indication that vaccination has caused these conditions, which are not listed as side effects with this vaccine,” it said in a statement.

Four other EU countries — Estonia, Latvia, Lithuania and Luxembourg — have also suspended vaccinations from this batch, sent to 17 European countries and consisting of one million jabs.

“Although a quality defect is considered unlikely at this stage, the batch quality is being investigated,” the EMA said.

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.

Autopsy in Vienna

Before the autopsy was carried out, the National Office for Health System Safety (BASG) said an investigation into the woman’s death was necessary. 

“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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