The Australian government has quietly discontinued the Vaxzevria AstraZeneca COVID-19 vaccine, which has been linked to the rare but serious side effect of thrombosis with thrombocytopenia (TTS) involving blood clots combined with low levels of blood platelets.
The federal health department updated its website to advise that the vaccine developed in the United Kingdom by Oxford University “is no longer available” as of March 20, 2023.
There were eight deaths in Australia confirmed to be from TTS following the AstraZeneca vaccine, according to a June 2022 report by the Therapeutic Goods Administration (TGA), the Australian government’s medicine and vaccines authority.
The AstraZeneca vaccine was approved for use as a first and booster dose in Australia from February 2021 and February 2022 respectively.
From October 2021, it was available by request only, in favour of the newer mRNA vaccines such as Pfizer and Moderna and Novavax.
Australia Follows Other Countries on SuspensionInitially promised to be “highly safe and effective”, countries began to suspend AstraZeneca in 2021 after research suggested “disappointing” results against new variants and its causal link with rare but severe incidents, including low platelet counts, blood clots, and hemorrhages.
Australia’s health department confirmed the phasing out of the vaccine was due to the availability of newer options.
‘This was not a decision based on safety as some people have misrepresented on social media,” a spokesperson told the Epoch Times in an email.
“As expected, first-generation vaccines have been superseded by newer vaccines targeting the strains of the virus now circulating.”
“The AstraZeneca COVID-19 vaccine remains provisionally approved by the TGA. However, the sponsor made a commercial decision with respect to the supply of AstraZeneca vaccine in Australia.”