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Chief medical officer Professor Paul Kelly. Picture: NCA NewsWire/Gary Ramage

‘No link’ between vaccine and aged care death

Australia’s chief medical officer has said there is no apparent causal link between the death of an elderly Queensland woman and the COVID-19 vaccination she received hours earlier.

The 82-year-old, who had been living at the Blue Care Yurana aged care facility in Springwood, south of Brisbane, received her jab about 10am on Wednesday. Police were called to the home about 1.30pm.

Her death has been classed as non-suspicious and police will prepare a report for the coroner. The chief medical officer, Professor Paul Kelly, said while the death would be investigated, there did not appear to be a link between her death and the vaccine.

“Sadly more than 1000 people pass in aged care every week. It is inevitable, as the head of the TGA has noted, that this will include people who have been recently vaccinated,” Professor Kelly said.

“Any event that happens following vaccination is fully investigated.

“The medical experts and the TGA will review the specifics of such cases and reach a conclusion based on the facts.”

The woman is said to have suffered from a number of underlying health conditions, including lung disease, as has been reported by the Courier Mail.

Kelly said the TGA was monitoring COVID-19 vaccination in elderly patients “across the world.”

“It can be expected that older and more frail people in an aged care setting may pass away due to progression of underlying disease or natural causes, this does not mean the vaccine has contributed to this,” he said.

“The TGA will continue to monitor the safety of COVID-19 vaccines as they are rolled out in Australia and internationally.”

In January, the TGA investigated 30 deaths among the elderly population in Norway who had received the Pfizer vaccine.

At the time, the European Medicines Agency found no causal link between the vaccination and the deaths, and the TGA found no risk of vaccinating elderly patients with the Pfizer jab.

Both the Pfizer and AstraZeneca vaccines being rolled out across Australia can cause minor side effects, including fever, muscle pain and fatigue, but have been declared safe.

It comes as the EMA has found a possible link between the AstraZeneca vaccine and rare cases of blood clots in some patients.

The Federal Government was expected to deliver 10,500 vaccines to 150 aged care facilities across Queensland this week.

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