Triggering global concerns, two studies published in the New England Journal of Medicine have revealed that certain antibodies cause blood clots, sometimes even fatal, in people who receive the AstraZeneca COVID-19 vaccine. The antibodies formed after the vaccine shot activate platelets which lead to blood clotting, adds the study. However, the study underlines that such cases are 'extremely rare', one in a million.
Scientists have also found that the younger population is more vulnerable to the aforementioned ‘extreme’ reaction as compared to the elderly.
In view of the unfortunate cases recorded after administering AstraZeneca COVID-19 vaccine, countries like Germany, the Netherlands, the Philippines, Portugal, Spain, Canada, France, Australia, and Belgium among others have stopped the use of the drug for its younger population. Even Britain, the developer of the vaccine, has announced to not administer AstraZeneca COVID-19 vaccine to people below the age of 30 years. Meanwhile, nations like Cameroon, Congo, Denmark and Norway have stopped using the vaccine altogether.
Experts say that the new findings are sure to give a serious blow to global efforts in fighting the COVID-19 pandemic.
How does AstraZeneca vaccine work?
When a vaccine dose is administered to an individual, the immune system of the person starts making antibodies and primes it to attack coronavirus infection. The vaccine is given in two doses at a gap of four to 12 weeks.
AstraZeneca use in India
The Oxford-AstraZeneca vaccine, known as Covishield in India, has secured the nod from the country’s drug regulator. In India, the Oxford-AstraZeneca vaccine is being manufactured by the Serum Institute of India (SII), the world’s largest vaccine manufacturer. Recently, India placed a temporary hold on all exports of the Oxford-AstraZeneca vaccine as rising COVID-19 cases have led to an uptick in the demand.