Several European countries suspended use of the AstraZeneca Plc Covid-19 vaccine amid safety concerns after some blood-clotting events that regulators feared might be tied to the shot. At the time, the U.K. — which had already distributed the vaccine to millions — didn’t seem to have the same experience. That’s changing. U.K. regulators are now signaling there may be a link to rare but potentially
Given all the information shared by European Union and U.K. regulators, there is a reasonable chance that the AstraZeneca vaccine is associated with an increased risk of a rare condition that is characterized by blood clotting coupled with a fall in platelet counts. These divergent symptoms are what makes this a serious and difficult-to-treat reaction. The reported number in the EU calculates to about 1 per 100,000 vaccinations.
Australia and the Philippines also limited use of AstraZeneca’s COVID-19 vaccine on Thursday, while the African Union dropped plans to buy the shot amid global shortages, dealing further blows to the company’s hopes to deliver a vaccine for the world.
Australia recommended people under 50 should get Pfizer’s COVID-19 vaccine in preference to AstraZeneca’s, a policy shift it warned would hold up its inoculation campaign.
Italy recommends the AstraZeneca coronavirus vaccine only for people aged over 60 from now on, an ordinance by the Health Ministry showed. Up to April 8, Italy has administered 11.7 million doses of the vaccines authorized in the country, including 3.9 million doses of AstraZeneca, according to government data. Some 3.6 million people have received both vaccine jabs.
Globally, 269 candidate vaccines are still being developed — 85 of them in clinical trials — in countries including Germany, China, Russia, Britain, and the United States, according to information released by the World Health Organization on April 2.