TAIPEI (Taiwan News) — Taiwan's Central Epidemic Command Center (CECC) on Wednesday (June 2) reported the first case of thrombosis in an individual after getting the AstraZeneca COVID-19 vaccine.
During a press conference that afternoon, Health Minister and CECC head Chen Shih-chung (陳時中) said that the Advisory Committee on Immunization Practices (ACIP) held a meeting on Monday (May 31) to discuss the first case of thrombosis with thrombocytopenia syndrome (TTS) after a person received a dose of the AstraZeneca vaccine. Chen said that the recipient was a man in his 30s who developed a fever and other physical symptoms after receiving the first dose on May 12.
The symptoms eased after three days. However, starting on May 19, he experienced symptoms such as mild fever, persistent headache, and abdominal pains.
A sample of the patient's blood revealed that blood platelets were low and D-dimer levels were abnormally elevated. However, imaging of his head and abdomen did not detect thrombosis in those areas.
Chen said that after a clinical examination and assessment, the patient was diagnosed and treated in a timely manner in accordance with the clinical guidelines for TTS. The patient's platelet value is currently recovering and his condition is stable, according to Chen.
After clinical vigilance, timely diagnosis, and treatment, the man's symptoms have improved and he was transferred to the general ward for continuous observation. After expert review, Chen said that the patient met the Brighton Collaboration case definition for TTS and was deemed to be the first such case among AstraZeneca vaccine recipients in Taiwan.
Based on CECC statistics, Chen said that 461,647 people have received the AstraZeneca vaccine in Taiwan thus far. With this first case of TTS, Taiwan now has an incidence rate of 2.1 per million doses.
In comparison, the U.K. has reported 12.3 per million doses (as of May 1), and 6.5 per million doses in the EU (as of April 4) with the AstraZeneca vaccine.
The CECC warned that within the first 28 days of receiving the AstraZeneca shot, recipients should seek medical attention if they experience the following: severe and persistent headaches, changes in their vision, seizures, severe and persistent abdominal pain for more than 24 hours, severe chest pain or difficulty breathing, swelling or pain in lower limbs, or spontaneous bleeding on the skin. When seeking medical care, patients should be sure to inform physicians of the vaccination to enable them to identify the cause of the symptoms as soon as possible and provide appropriate treatment.