Date published: 
4 June 2021
Type: 
News
Intended audience: 
General public
ATAGI update following weekly COVID-19 meeting – 2 June 2021

ATAGI met on Wednesday 2 June 2021 to review the latest developments relating to the AstraZeneca COVID-19 vaccine and Thrombosis and Thrombocytopenia Syndrome (TTS) cases in Australia and overseas.

ATAGI discussed the current Victorian outbreak, including updated case numbers. Vaccine coverage rates were also discussed and ATAGI noted the ongoing importance of increasing coverage and uptake across eligible groups, particularly people aged 70 years and over.

ATAGI considered an update from the TGA on current confirmed cases and those under investigation. Read the latest TGA statement on TTS cases, including clinical outcomes.

ATAGI examined estimates of risk of TTS by age group in Australia and note that there have been 31 confirmed cases reported and a further 10 are considered probable in around 2.2 million doses of COVID-19 Vaccine AstraZeneca given up to 19 May 2021.

Although estimates of risk based on small numbers of cases are imprecise, the risk of TTS is estimated in Australia at around:

  • 3.1 per 100,000 in those <50 years; and
  • 1.8 per 100,000 in those ≥50 years.

There were no significant differences in estimated risk by sex in those ≥50 years of age.

A breakdown of current rates by decade of age for those aged ≥ 50 years is included here:

Age bracket (years)

Estimated rate (per 100,000 AZ vaccinations)

<50

3.1

50-59

1.9

60-69

1.7

70-79

1.9

≥80

1.5

ATAGI discussed the case summary and clinical data of TTS cases. It was noted that TTS outcomes occur across a spectrum of severity from more mild cases, to cases with long term morbidity and can result in death, with one fatal case recorded to date in Australia.

ATAGI emphasised the ATAGI/THANZ joint statement on TTS and the use of the COVID-19 Vaccine AstraZeneca is an important resource. The statement provides updated information about TTS and reaffirms ATAGI’s previous advice regarding the safe use of the COVID-19 Vaccine AstraZeneca.

At this time, there is no update to the ATAGI statement from 23 April 2021 in relation to the use of the AstraZeneca COVID-19 vaccine.