- AstraZeneca Covid-19 is not approved in the U.S.
- A new study in Europe shows a concerning incidence of a serious brain blood clots, CVST, following AstraZeneca’s shot.
- Initially, the blood clots were thought to occur about 3 or 4 in a million. The study estimates the true occurrence is closer to 25 in a million (1 in 40,000).
- Scientists say the true number of adverse events is assumed to be much higher than the number reported since it’s assumed that most events are not properly diagnosed and reported.
- Johnson and Johnson’s Covid-19 vaccine recently added a new warning about heightened risk of blood disorders.
The following are excerpts from Medscape News
A new study that systematically monitored rates of vascular and thromboembolic events in people receiving the AstraZeneca COVID-19 vaccine has found it to be associated with a rate of cerebral venous sinus thrombosis (CVST) of 1 in 40,000.
Using national health records, the researchers identified rates of arterial and venous events in a cohort of 282,572 people aged 18-65 years within 28 days of receiving a first dose of the AstraZeneca vaccine in Denmark and Norway from February 2021 through to March 11, 2021 and compared these with expected rates in the general population of the same age and sex.
Results showed seven cases of CVST in the vaccinated cohort.
Close to two thirds of the AstraZeneca COVID-19 vaccine imported into Canada came from a U.S. factory that American authorities say was rife with quality-control issues, Health Canada confirmed Thursday.
The U.S. Food and Drug Administration said this week it will not allow the release of any vaccine made under contract at the Emergent Biosolutions plant in Baltimore, Md. — and still in the U.S.— until it’s been tested further.
The University of Oxford has paused administering doses of the COVID-19 vaccine it developed with AstraZeneca PLC AZN, -0.63%AZN, +0.15% in a small U.K. study aimed at evaluating its safety and effectiveness in children and teenagers, to wait for further information on rare blood-clotting issues that have been found in a small group of adults that received it, the Wall Street Journal reported Tuesday. The trial was started in mid-February and involves more than 200 young people aged 6 to 17 years old, the paper said. It cited an Oxford spokesman as saying that the trial had not found any safety issues, but that broader concerns and a review of the vaccine by regulators in the U.K. and European Unions were behind the move. The European Medicines Agency said earlier it expects to update the public on its investigation of the blood-clotting issue later this week.
There is a link between AstraZeneca’s COVID-19 vaccine and very rare blood clots in the brain but the possible causes are still unknown, a senior official for the European Medicines Agency (EMA) said in an interview published on Tuesday.
However, the EMA later said in a statement that its review of the vaccine was ongoing and it expected to announce its findings on Wednesday or Thursday. An AstraZeneca spokesman declined to comment on the matter.
“In my opinion, we can now say it, it is clear that there is an association (of the brain blood clots) with the vaccine. However, we still do not know what causes this reaction,” Marco Cavaleri, chair of the vaccine evaulation team at the EMA, told Italian daily Il Messagero.
Cavaleri provided no evidence to support his comment.
The EMA has repeatedly said the benefits of the AstraZeneca shot outweigh the risks as it investigates 44 reports of an extremely rare brain clotting ailment known as cerebral venous sinus thrombosis (CVST) out of 9.2 million people in the European Economic Area who have received the vaccine.
The World Health Organization has also backed the vaccine.
Following numerous reports of blood clotting, a total of 20 countries have stopped inoculation with the AstraZeneca vaccine, including EU heavyweights Germany and France. However, some of them are now resuming vaccination following assurances about its safety from the EU medical watchdog.
A Norwegian group of experts claims to have found the mechanism behind the symptoms that triggered the alarm over the vaccine manufacturer Astra Zeneca’s coronavirus shot.
According to the experts, the vaccine triggers a strong immune reaction that leads to a rare combination of blood clots and low platelet (thrombocytes) counts.
“The cause of our patients’ condition has now been found,” chief physician and professor at Rikshospitalet Hospital Pål Andre Holme told the newspaper Verdens Gang.
Three Norwegian healthcare employees were admitted to Rikshospitalet due to severe blood clots after vaccination. They were said to have had blood clots in unusual places all over their bodies, such as in the stomach and in the brain. Additionally, they experienced bleeding and had low platelet counts. One of the employees died on Monday, shortly after he was admitted for care.
“I see no other reason than that it is the vaccine that triggers it,” Holme told Verdens Gang. “We had a theory that this is a strong immune reaction that most likely came after the vaccine and has now come to the conclusion that it is indeed so.”
Prosecutors in Italy have launched a manslaughter investigation after a music teacher there died hours after getting the controversial AstraZeneca COVID-19 vaccine.
Sandro Tognatti, 57, got jabbed in his hometown of Biella on Saturday afternoon and went to bed that night with a high fever, his wife, Simona Riussi, told Italian media.
She called an ambulance the next morning but the clarinetist could not be saved, she said.
Prosecutors in the northern Italian region of Piedmont opened the probe into his death later that day, according to the Italian wire service Agenzia Nazionale Stampa Associata (ANSA).
They also seized nearly 400,000 shots of the AstraZeneca vaccine from the same batch.
A Norwegian journalist bizarrely claimed she would “love to die from the AstraZeneca vaccine” if it meant other people in Europe were not discouraged from taking it.
The statement was made in the headline of Linn Wiik’s article, which literally translates as “I would love to die from the AstraZeneca vaccine.”
The AstraZeneca COVID-19 vaccine has been temporarily pulled by numerous countries across Europe, including Spain, France, Portugal, Cyprus, Austria, Denmark, Slovenia and Norway, due to reports of blood clotting and several deaths of people who took the jab.
In response to the news, Wiik defiantly suggested that she would be prepared to die from taking the vaccine if it meant others were not discouraged from taking it.
“Some must be sacrificed in the war against the corona,” she wrote. “That’s the way it is in all wars. This time it may well be me.”
“There are currently insufficient data available to assess the vaccine efficacy from 65 years of age,” the committee, also known as Stiko, said in a draft resolution made available by the German health ministry on Thursday.
“The AstraZeneca vaccine, unlike the mRNA vaccines, should only be offered to people aged 18-64 years at each stage,” it added.
Stiko’s assessment was based on the same trial data published by medical journal The Lancet on Dec 8.
The European Union approved a vaccine developed by Pfizer and its German partner BioNTech in late December, and gave the green light to a shot made by Moderna in early January.
AstraZeneca did not immediately respond to a request for comment.