AstraZeneca’s COVID-19 shot and blood clots: Scientists find mechanism and treatment

Mar. 20, 2021 10:40 PM ETAstraZeneca PLC (AZN)AZNBy: Dulan Lokuwithana, SA News Editor101 Comments
  • Amid blood clot concerns following the inoculation with the vaccine developed by AstraZeneca (NASDAQ:AZN), two groups of medical experts from Norway and Germany say they have found the mechanism and a possible treatment for the rare events, the WSJ reports.
  • Several isolated cases of cerebral venous sinus thrombosis following the vaccination caused many countries across Europe to pause vaccinations with Astra’s COVID-19 jab leading the European Medicines Agency (“EMA”) to issue a statement on Thursday backing its use.
  • Subsequently, countries such as Germany, France, and Italy resumed inoculations while Norway, Denmark, and Sweden continued to suspend the rollout subject to a further review of the EMA decision.
  • After investigating the cases in Norway, Pål André Holme, a professor of hematology and chief physician of the Oslo University Hospital said his team has identified an antibody created by the vaccine as the trigger for the adverse reaction.
  • A team of German researchers Andreas Greinacher led by Andreas Greinacher, professor of transfusion medicine at the Greifswald University Clinic said they have independently reached a similar conclusion.
  • Noting that findings are no reason for people to fear to get Astra’s COVID-19 shot, Prof. Greinacher added, “very, very few people will develop this complication. but if it happens, we now know how to treat the patients.”
  • After a quick diagnosis, any midsize hospital could treat the condition, he said, and after a review of Prof. Greinacher’s findings, the German Society for Thrombosis and Hemostasis Research has issued guidelines on how to diagnose and treat the condition.
  • Neither the Norwegian nor the German studies were peer-reviewed, and within the next few days, Prof. Greinacher expects to submit his work for publication in the British medical journal The Lancet.
  • AstraZeneca has declined to comment and after a review of cases in Norway and Germany, the EMA has reiterated the vaccine’s favorable risk-benefit profile. The German government is assessing the findings and has not changed its decision to resume the vaccine rollout.
  • Meanwhile, ahead of a possible decision by the FDA on emergency use approval for Astra’s COVID-19 shot, the U.S. government is sending millions of the vaccine doses to its neighbors.

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