Jab safety reassurance after second death

Australians are being urged to keep coming forward for vaccination in order to tackle COVID-19.
Australians are being urged to keep coming forward for vaccination in order to tackle COVID-19.

Medical experts have reassured Australians about the safety of coronavirus vaccines after the death of a 52-year-old woman, and are encouraging people to keep coming forward.

The NSW woman died after developing a blood clots condition likely linked to the AstraZeneca vaccine - the second fatal case out of 3.6 million doses administered.

Chief Medical Officer Paul Kelly said the clotting was extremely rare and doctors had a lot more information on how to diagnose and treat the condition.

"We will continue to learn from these unfortunate circumstances and will tie it into advice to all practitioners," he said.

In a statement, AstraZeneca said patient safety remained its highest priority.

"We continue to work closely with the TGA and other regulators around the world as they investigate these very rare cases."

Cabinet minister Peter Dutton said the death was a tragedy but needed to be put in perspective, comparing it to the millions of deaths from coronavirus around the world.

"We haven't had that here and we don't want it, which is why the vaccine rollout is important," he told Nine on Friday.

"As you've seen in Victoria, people have lined up in huge numbers to get the vaccine, because they know this is our only path way out of COVID-19.

"If people have a hesitancy, they should speak to their GP, but every doctor in the country is saying get vaccinated as soon as you are eligible."

Victoria's fourth lockdown is officially over but there are still many restrictions in place.

Melbourne residents must stay within 25km of their homes, wears masks indoors and outdoors, and limit outdoor gatherings to 10 people.

Public schools and kindergartens will return to face-to-face learning and cafes, restaurants and pubs can host up to 100 people.

Further north, country towns are on edge after a coronavirus-positive couple travelled from Victoria to Queensland through regional NSW.

Mr Dutton said it would be a tough time for many of the towns and an anxious wait for those getting tested.

"It really is quite unbelievable somebody could be so irresponsible and the consequences so dire if it turns out people have been infected on the trail all the way up to Queensland," he said.

"The vast majority of Australians have made a huge sacrifice. They're doing the right thing and when you see people that aren't it makes people very angry."

Australian Associated Press