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Covishield developer AstraZeneca extends 'sympathies' amid vaccine side-effect concerns

'Our sympathy goes out to anyone who has lost loved ones or reported health problems. Patient safety is our highest priority, and regulatory authorities have clear and stringent standards to ensure the safe use of all medicines, including vaccines,' AstraZeneca said in a statement.
Last Updated : 01 May 2024, 06:28 IST
Last Updated : 01 May 2024, 06:28 IST

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Amid growing concerns over the side-effects of AstraZeneca's vaccines after the company admitted for the first time that their Covid jabs can cause a rare side effect called Thrombosis with Thrombocytopenia Syndrome, the pharmaceutical giant has expressed sympathies while asserting their commitment to patient safety.

UK-headquartered pharmaceutical giant AstraZeneca (AZ) recently admitted that in "very rare cases" its Covid vaccine can cause a blood clot related side effect but the causal link is unknown, according to court papers being quoted in the UK media.

“It is admitted that the AZ vaccine can, in very rare cases, cause TTS. The causal mechanism is not known. Further, TTS can also occur in the absence of the AZ vaccine (or any vaccine). Causation in any individual case will be a matter for expert evidence,” The Telegraph quoted the legal document as stating.

Meanwhile, the company that is currently wrapped in a legal battle extended its sympathies on Tuesday, reiterating that its highest priority was patient safety.

“Our sympathy goes out to anyone who has lost loved ones or reported health problems. Patient safety is our highest priority, and regulatory authorities have clear and stringent standards to ensure the safe use of all medicines, including vaccines,” AstraZeneca said in a statement.

“From the body of evidence in clinical trials and real-world data, the AstraZeneca-Oxford vaccine has continuously been shown to have an acceptable safety profile and regulators around the world consistently state that the benefits of vaccination outweigh the risks of extremely rare potential side effects,” the statement noted.

This comes after lawyers acting on behalf of the claimants say they, or their loved ones, who received the AZ vaccine suffered TTS – a rare syndrome characterised by the concurrence of thrombosis or blood clotting and thrombocytopenia or insufficiency of platelets.

It is noteworthy that the Covid-19 vaccine Covishield developed by AstraZeneca and Oxford University, was produced by the Serum Institute of India and widely utilised in India.

The consequences of TTS are potentially life-threatening including strokes, brain damage, heart attacks, pulmonary embolism and amputation. Of the 51 claimants in the group action being represented by the law firm Leigh Day for damages under Section 2 of the UK’s Consumer Protection Act 1987 against AstraZeneca UK Ltd in respect of injuries sustained as a result of the vaccine, 12 are acting on behalf of a loved one who died.

(With PTI inputs)

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Published 01 May 2024, 06:28 IST

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