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April 30, 2024

AstraZeneca Admits Covishield Vaccine May Cause Rare Side Effect: What You Need to Know about TTS

AstraZeneca, the pharmaceutical giant behind the Covishield vaccine, has recently admitted in court documents that its Covid-19 vaccine may lead to a rare side effect known as Thrombosis with Thrombocytopenia Syndrome (TTS). This admission, made in a legal document submitted to the UK High Court, marks a significant development in the ongoing discourse surrounding vaccine safety.

The company stated that TTS can occur even in cases where there is no vaccination and emphasized that expert testimony would be required to determine causation in each individual case. “It is admitted that the AZ vaccine can, in very rare cases, cause TTS. The causal mechanism is not known,” the document stated.

Developed in collaboration with the University of Oxford, the AstraZeneca vaccine, marketed globally under various names including Covishield and Vaxzevria, has been a cornerstone of vaccination efforts worldwide. However, its association with rare but serious side effects has sparked controversy and legal action.

In India alone, where the vaccine is produced by the Serum Institute of India (SII), over 1.7 billion doses of Covishield have been administered as part of the world’s largest vaccination program. Despite its widespread use, the vaccine now faces scrutiny as families affected by TTS pursue legal action against the company.

The class-action lawsuit alleges that the AstraZeneca vaccine has caused serious injuries and fatalities. Jamie Scott, a father of two, initiated the lawsuit after suffering permanent brain injury from TTS following his vaccination in April 2021. His case, along with others’, highlights the devastating impact of TTS, characterized by blood clots and low platelet counts.

Speaking to The Telegraph, Scott’s wife Kate demanded an apology and fair compensation for their family and others affected by TTS. She stated, “The medical world has acknowledged for a long time that vaccine-induced immune thrombocytopenia and thrombosis (VITT) was caused by the vaccine.”

AstraZeneca’s admission of the vaccine’s potential to cause TTS is seen as a pivotal moment in the legal dispute, shedding light on the risks associated with vaccination. This acknowledgment underscores the importance of ongoing monitoring and research into vaccine safety.

Notably, in April 2021, the Australian Government acted on advice from the Australian Technical Advisory Group on Immunisation (ATAGI) regarding the AstraZeneca vaccine and TTS. As a result, the vaccine was made unavailable in Australia from March 21, 2023, to prevent further cases of AstraZeneca-related TTS.

Thrombosis with Thrombocytopenia Syndrome (TTS) involves blood clotting combined with low platelet counts and can manifest in various parts of the body such as the brain or abdomen. According to the Department of Health and Aged Care, Government of Australia, symptoms of TTS include severe headaches, blurred vision, confusion, weakness, shortness of breath, chest pain, 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.

The admission by AstraZeneca and the ongoing legal proceedings underscore the need for thorough understanding and awareness of vaccine risks, as well as the importance of transparent communication from vaccine manufacturers and health authorities.

Jhumpa Lahiri

Jhumpa Lahiri

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