AstraZeneca acknowledges rare side effect associated with Covishield vaccine

New Delhi, April 30: In a significant acknowledgment, AstraZeneca has conceded in court documents that its Covid-19 vaccine, marketed globally under various brand names including Covishield and Vaxzevria, may lead to a rare side effect. The revelation was disclosed in legal papers submitted to the UK High Court in February, as reported by various media outlets.

The pharmaceutical giant stated in the document that a rare side effect known as Thrombosis with Thrombocytopenia Syndrome (TTS) could occur, albeit infrequently, even without vaccination. AstraZeneca emphasized that expert testimony would be necessary to ascertain causation in individual cases. The document stated, “It is admitted that the AZ vaccine can, in very rare cases, cause TTS. The causal mechanism is not known.”

AstraZeneca’s vaccine, developed in collaboration with the University of Oxford, was manufactured in India by the Pune-based Serum Institute of India (SII). India has administered a staggering 1,749,417,978 doses of the Covishield vaccine, marking it as the world’s largest vaccination campaign since January 2021, according to data from the government’s CoWIN vaccine dashboard (as of 10:30 pm on April 29, 2024).

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However, the British-Swedish multinational pharmaceutical company now faces a class-action lawsuit alleging serious injuries and fatalities resulting from its vaccine. Media reports indicate that numerous families have lodged complaints in court, citing devastating effects of the AstraZeneca vaccine’s side effects.

The lawsuit, initiated by Jamie Scott last year, highlights the severe impact of TTS, which manifests as blood clots and low platelet counts. Scott, a father of two, suffered permanent brain injury from TTS after receiving the AstraZeneca vaccine in April 2021.

In a statement to The Telegraph, Scott’s wife, Kate, demanded an apology and fair compensation for their family and others affected by similar circumstances. AstraZeneca’s admission is considered pivotal in the ongoing legal dispute, shedding light on potential risks associated with vaccination.

It’s worth noting that in April 2021, the Australian Government acted upon advice from the Australian Technical Advisory Group on Immunisation (ATAGI) regarding the Vaxzevria (AstraZeneca) vaccine and its association with Thrombosis with Thrombocytopenia Syndrome (TTS). Consequently, the vaccine was discontinued in Australia from March 21, 2023, to prevent further cases of AstraZeneca-related TTS in the country.

Understanding Thrombosis with Thrombocytopenia Syndrome (TTS) According to the Department of Health and Aged Care, Government of Australia, TTS is characterized by blood clotting (thrombosis) accompanied by low platelet levels (thrombocytopenia). These blood clots can manifest in various body parts such as the brain or abdomen.

The department asserts on its website a link between the AstraZeneca vaccine and the rare but serious side effect called TTS, particularly noting a higher risk in younger individuals. Symptoms of TTS include severe, persistent headache unresponsive to regular painkillers, blurred vision, confusion, weakness in face or limbs, shortness of breath or chest pain, severe abdominal pain, leg swelling, and unexplained rash or bruising away from the injection site. These symptoms typically occur between 4 and 42 days after the first dose of the AstraZeneca vaccine, according to the Australian government’s health department.


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