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AstraZeneca's Covishield Vaccine Linked to Rare TTS Condition

Photo : Reuters

AstraZeneca, a prominent British pharmaceutical company, has acknowledged a potential risk associated with its COVID-19 vaccine, revealing that it can lead to a rare side effect known as Thrombosis with Thrombocytopenia Syndrome (TTS). This admission follows a lawsuit filed against the company, alleging serious harm and even deaths linked to the vaccine.

The vaccine in question, Covishield, is a product of collaboration between AstraZeneca and Oxford University, with manufacturing handled by the Serum Institute of India. Covishield gained widespread usage throughout India during the height of the COVID-19 pandemic, making any potential side effects a matter of significant concern.

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Thrombosis with Thrombocytopenia Syndrome (TTS) is a rare but serious condition characterized by the formation of blood clots in unusual locations within the body, accompanied by a decrease in the number of platelets in the bloodstream. Platelets play a crucial role in blood clotting, and a deficiency in their count can pose severe health risks.

Observations indicate that TTS predominantly manifests in individuals who have received adenoviral vector COVID-19 vaccines, including Vaxzevria (also known as AstraZeneca), Covishield, and the Johnson & Johnson/Janssen COVID-19 vaccine. The onset of TTS appears to be triggered by an immune response to the vaccine, wherein antibodies are produced that target a protein involved in blood clotting.

The Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC) classify TTS into two tiers based on severity. Tier 1 cases involve the formation of rare blood clots, such as those occurring in the brain or gut, sometimes alongside more typical clots in the legs or lungs. Additionally, individuals with Tier 1 TTS often exhibit a low platelet count, which is indicative of the condition's severity. On the other hand, Tier 2 cases involve more common blood clots, like those found in the legs or lungs, and also present with a reduced platelet count. However, a positive anti-PF4 ELISA test is required for diagnosis in Tier 2 cases.

Recognizing the symptoms of TTS is crucial for prompt medical intervention. Symptoms may include severe headaches, abdominal pain, swelling in the legs, difficulty breathing, and cognitive impairment or seizures. Individuals experiencing any of these symptoms following vaccination are advised to seek immediate medical attention to mitigate potential risks associated with TTS.

As AstraZeneca's acknowledgment sheds light on this rare but serious side effect, it underscores the importance of continued vigilance and monitoring of vaccine safety, ensuring that potential risks are swiftly identified and addressed to safeguard public health.

April 30, 2024 11:41 a.m. 6740

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