Following concerns over thrombotic (blood clotting) events in certain beneficiaries after receiving vaccine shots, pharmaceutical major AstraZeneca said Monday that a review of at least 17 million individuals, who have been administered its Covid-19 vaccine, suggested that the vaccine was safe for use.
In a statement, the company said that the blood clotting events were not related to the vaccine, AZD1222.
“AstraZeneca would like to offer its reassurance on the safety of its Covid-19 vaccine based on clear scientific evidence. Safety is of paramount importance and the Company is continually monitoring the safety of its vaccine,” the statement said.
After blood clotting events and one death were reported in Denmark, eight countries — Norway, Iceland, Austria, Estonia, Lithuania, Luxembourg, Italy, and Latvia —temporarily suspended use of the Oxford-AstraZeneca Covid-19 vaccine as a precautionary measure.
“A careful review of all available safety data of more than 17 million people vaccinated in the European Union (EU) and UK with Covid-19 Vaccine AstraZeneca has shown no evidence of an increased risk of pulmonary embolism (pulmonary artery blockage due to blood clotting, deep vein thrombosis (blood clot in vein) or thrombocytopenia (low platelets), in any defined age group, gender, batch or in any particular country,” the company statement said.
According to the data reported to the company as on March 8, across the EU and the UK, there have been 15 events of deep vein thrombosis and 22 events of pulmonary embolism among those administered the vaccine. According to AstraZeneca, this is much lower than the expected occurrence in a population of this size and is similar across other licensed vaccines.
“Around 17 million people in the EU and UK have now received our vaccine, and the number of cases of blood clots reported in this group is lower than the hundreds of cases that would be expected among the general population…,” said the AstraZeneca’s chief medical officer Ann Taylor.