Professor Skerritt said the TGA had received 11,000 reports of adverse events from COVID-19 vaccines, ranging from a sore arm to a heart attack a week after being vaccinated.
He said the evidence on the two men’s deaths did not suggest a “likely association” with the vaccine.
“It is important to emphasise that, sadly, 3000 people die every week. Sadly, 50 people get serious clotting disorders every day and perhaps a third of them die immediately or soon after,” Professor Skerritt said.
He said risks should not be swept under the carpet, but they were significantly outweighed by the benefits, especially for those older than 50.
“Unless we decide to live in a country that will never open our borders, unless we decide to never return to our normal activities, the vaccine still remains, along with other measures, the best way out of this pandemic,” Professor Skerritt said.
The TGA has so far confirmed six cases of the blood clotting condition after vaccination, including one linked to the death of 48-year-old Genene Norris from the NSW Central Coast.
But the drug regulator says the overall number of reports for blood clots following vaccination was no higher than the expected background rate for the more common type of blood clots in Australia.
This comes as NSW Health is no longer leading the country in the vaccine rollout.
Victorian health authorities administered 25,679 vaccines in the week ending Wednesday, according to federal government data.
In the same period, NSW only managed to administer 16,600 vaccines to frontline workers and their families.
Vaccinations at NSW’s state-run clinics have slowed substantially since the national vaccine advisory group determined people under the age of 50 should receive the Pfizer vaccine over the more readily available AstraZeneca earlier this month.
On Thursday, 3728 vaccines were administered in NSW-run vaccination hubs for a total of 202,220 doses since the start of the rollout. Victoria has administered 22,506 doses.
An additional 406,318 doses have been administered by Commonwealth providers, such as GPs, in NSW.
Fifteen returned overseas travellers tested positive to COVID-19 in NSW in the 24 hours to 8pm on Wednesday.
Ten of the new infections had recently been in India, NSW Health confirmed.
Australia paused all direct flights from COVID-ravaged India from April 27, as the country grapples with overwhelming numbers of severely ill COVID-19 patients and a rising death toll.
India recorded 3645 COVID-19 deaths on Thursday, bringing the nation’s total to 204,832.
Over December and January, roughly half of overseas cases in NSW were in returned travellers from the US and Britain.
In one four-week period, ending January 16, there were 84 cases from these two countries (60 from the US and 24 from Britain), data from NSW Health’s COVID-19 surveillance reports shows.
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