Australia will conduct a rolling review of every coronavirus vaccine in domestic use after a NSW woman who'd received the AstraZeneca vaccine developed blood clots and died.
The family of Genene Norris has expressed its profound shock and sorrow over the 48-year-old's death, which health authorities have said is likely linked to the vaccine.
"We cannot believe that this time last week she was with us and now she is gone," her family said in a statement that thanked medical staff who fought hard to save her. "Her passing leaves a gaping void in our family."
Federal Health Minister Greg Hunt has urged Australians not to lose faith in the vaccination program, with Ms Norris the third person in Australia to develop blood clots after receiving the AstraZeneca vaccine.
He said the risk remained low with only three cases from 885,000 AstraZeneca shots. The other two cases are recovering.
Ms Norris had her shot just hours before authorities announced they were no longer recommending AstraZeneca for Australians under 50.
The Therapeutic Goods Administration (TGA) has said that while a "causative link" between Ms Norris's death and her vaccination on April 8 "should be assumed", questions remain.
It noted the complication of her underlying health conditions and said an antibody common in other AstraZeneca clotting cases wasn't present.
Some test results are still pending. An autopsy is planned on Monday and a coronial inquest is likely.
The TGA has also confirmed it has received 13 reports of the AstraZeneca vaccine mistakenly being given to children aged 14-17.
Australia has not approved any COVID-19 vaccines for use in children.
The TGA said no serious consequences had resulted from errors such as health workers failing to confirm ages before administering vaccines.
In another worrying development, the NSW government is investigating a potential case of coronavirus transmission inside a quarantine hotel in Sydney.
Two family groups who arrived from different countries on different days have been confirmed to have the same viral sequence.
They stayed in neighbouring rooms on the same floor of the Adina Apartments Hotel at Sydney's Town Hall and some of the cases might soon be reclassified as locally-acquired cases. Staff who worked on the floor are now in quarantine.
Mr.Hunt reiterated on Saturday that the federal government was putting medical advice above all else and would continue to do so.
"To see global case numbers rise above 800,000 on some days and 700,000 on many days at the moment, reminds us we are in a safe and fortunate position that cannot be presumed or guaranteed. That is why vaccination remains so important."
Chief Medical Officer Paul Kelly also warned people not to jump to conclusions about Ms Norris's death, and urged people to continue to get their shots.
Australian Associated Press