Wednesday, May 25

Covid: Seven Deaths Reported in Oxford / AstraZeneca UK Recipients | Vaccines and immunizations

More cases of a rare blood clotting syndrome, including seven deaths, have been reported among recipients of the Oxford / AstraZeneca jab in the UK, although experts say the numbers remain low and the benefits of the vaccine far outweigh you grow any risk.

The Medicines and Healthcare Products Regulatory Agency (MHRA) runs a “yellow card” scheme to detect suspicious side effects or other concerns about drugs and medical devices.

According to the latest figures From the MHRA, there have been 22 reports of a blood clot in the brain called cerebral venous sinus thrombosis (CVST) that was accompanied by a low platelet count, as well as eight reports of other blood clotting problems with low platelets. , among recipients of the Oxford / AstraZeneca jab through March 24 inclusive. Platelets are fragments in the blood that help it clot. Of these 30 reports, the MHRA told The Guardian that seven people had died.

However, these cases remain rare: The MHRA notes that as of March 24, 18.1 million doses of the Covid-19 Oxford vaccine had been administered.

There have also been two cases of CVST among people who received the Pfizer / BioNTech jab, neither of them accompanied by a low platelet count.

Concerns about rare blood clotting events have dogged the Oxford coup in recent weeks. The MHRA and the European Medicines Agency (EMA) have said that the events have not been proven to have been caused by the needlestick, and that the benefits of vaccination far outweigh the risks given the danger posed by Covid. But the EMA said a warning about such events it would be included in the vaccine information while investigations continue.

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According to the EMA, on March 22 there was received reports of 14 deaths related to unusual blood clots in injection recipients, although not all were associated with CVST, with more than 9.2 million doses administered.

While many countries have resumed use of the vaccine after halting their programs, others have remained nervous. Among them, Canada has suspended the use of the jab for people under 55, while Germany has. Routine use of the jab is suspended in those under 60 years of age. The The latter has noted 31 cases of CVST after administering 2.7 million doses of the Oxford / AstraZeneca vaccine, 19 of which were associated with low platelet levels and nine deaths.

Currently, most of these rare clotting events appear to be occurring in women younger than 65, but it is not yet clear why.

Some have said that CVST is more common in this group overall, while others Have you observed that countries like Germany were initially reluctant to endorse the Oxford / AstraZeneca jab for older people, meaning that the majority of the recipients were younger people, primarily healthcare workers and teachers, the majority of whom are women. This may also explain the apparent disparities between Germany and the UK, as the latter endorsed the jab for seniors early on.

According to a panel of experts in hematology whose guidance is being cited by the British Society of Hematology, it has been highlighted that blood clots with low platelets after vaccination against coronavirus affect patients of all ages and of both sexes. The syndrome of blood clots and low platelets appears to be similar to a condition sometimes seen in patients who have been given anticoagulant heparin, they add.

MHRA Executive Director Dr. June Raine said the agency was continuing to conduct a comprehensive review of the reports, but the vaccines would continue.

“The benefits of the AstraZeneca Covid-19 vaccine in preventing Covid-19 infection and its complications continue to outweigh any risks and the public should continue to receive their vaccine when invited to do so,” he said. “We ask healthcare professionals to report any cases they suspect to be related to Covid-19 vaccination through the Yellow card for coronavirus website. “

Paul Hunter, a professor of medicine at the University of East Anglia, said the new figures raised concerns about a possible causal link between the Oxford coup and the CVST, but stressed that such events remain very rare.

“The risk of death is still much, much higher in people who are not vaccinated than in people who have had the [Oxford] vaccine, ”he said. “It would not dissuade me from my next dose.”

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