Even as Dutch governments suspend AstraZeneca/Oxford Covid-19 vaccine, the company says adverse events were not different from similar events reported after other vaccines.
NEW DELHI: Ireland and The Netherlands became the latest countries to suspend the use of the AstraZeneca/Oxford University vaccine for their Covid-19 immunisation programme.
The Indian version of the vaccine is known as Covishield, with the Serum Institute of India (SII) joining hands to produce 1 billion doses of the vaccine.
AstraZeneca, however, claimed that there was no evidence to suggest that its vaccine was leading to an increased risk of formation of blood clots.
In India, 0.020% of adverse event following immunisation (or side effects) and 0.00025% hospitalisation have been reported. The AstraZeneca Covid-19 shothas not been linked to any deaths in India.
Here is all you need to know:
* AstraZeneca based its claims on a review of 17 million people vaccinated across the UK and European Union (EU), according to a Reuters report.
* According to the pharma company, there have been 15 events of deep vein thrombosis and 22 events of a pulmonary embolism that have been reported till now.
* The company says these adverse events were not very different from similar events reported from the use of other approved Covid-19 vaccines.
* The European Medicines Agency (EMA) also appears to support the company’s findings, saying that there was little to suggest that the blood clots were the direct result of administering AstraZeneca’s vaccine.
* The EMA’s view was also supported by the World Health Organisation (WHO) last week.
* The Dutch government, however, said that it “can’t allow any doubts about the vaccine” with the Dutch health minister Hugo de Jonge saying that “it is wise to pause for now”.
* AstraZeneca, which is still awaiting Emergency Use Authorisation (EUA) of its vaccine in the US, said it is conducting additional tests.
* The company said that while none of the re-tests has shown cause for concern, the monthly safety report is expected to be made public on the EMA’s website by next week.
* Following the suspension of the vaccine in the European nations over blood clot fears, the Indian government has decided to conduct a deeper review of post-vaccination side-effects from the vaccine.
* NK Arora, a member of India’s national task force on Covid-19, said that they are looking at all the adverse events, particularly serious adverse events like deaths and hospitalisation.
* Arora added there was “no immediate issue of concern as the number of adverse events (in India) is very, very low. We are relooking at (adverse events that were reported) to see if there is any issue of blood clotting”.