Are blood clots related to the AstraZeneca COVID-19 vaccine? Over the last few days, many countries in Europe have suspended the use of the Oxford-AstraZeneca coronavirus vaccine over growing concerns of people developing blood clots after having the jab. EU regulators are currently investigating these cases but have yet to reach a conclusion.
According to a recent report, a 60-year-old Danish woman who received the AstraZeneca vaccine experienced “highly unusual symptoms” before dying of a blood clot.
Blood tests showed the woman had low levels of blood platelets and had clots in both small and large vessels, reports the Danish Medicines Agency.
A few similar cases have also been reported in Norway and in the European Medicines Agency database of drug side effects, according to Reuters.
“It was an unusual course of illness around the death that made the Danish Medicines Agency react,” the agency said in a statement.
Over the weekend, Norway said three people under the age of 50 who received the covid vaccine were hospitalized for bleeding, blood clots and a low count of blood platelets, which health officials labeled as “unusual symptoms.”
Denmark, Norway and Iceland said last week they would halt the introduction of the AstraZeneca shot.
European vaccination programs have been stalled by recent reports that recipients of the AstraZeneca vaccine have suffered blood clots.
The European Medicines Agency has said there is no indication that the cases were related to the vaccination, a view that was also shared by the WHO.
AstraZeneca tried to quell safety concerns after blood clots emerged in some people, prompting about a dozen nations to stop using some or all of their doses.
The British drugmaker’s review of safety data from more than 17 million people who received the shot in the UK and the European Union found no evidence of a higher risk for pulmonary embolism or deep vein thrombosis, conditions associated with clots, it said in a statement.
There were also no signs of a higher risk for thrombocytopenia, a low count of blood platelets, according to AstraZeneca.
The AstraZeneca vaccine and blood clots
According to AstraZeneca, there have been 15 reports of deep vein thrombosis and 22 reports of pulmonary embolism, which are both caused by blood clots. These observations are out of 17 million patients who received the vaccine in the UK and Europe.
To put this into perspective:
- For deep vein thrombosis, that means the observed risk after the AstraZeneca COVID-19 vaccines is 0.88 per 1 million vaccinated individuals.
- For pulmonary embolism, the observed risk would be around 1.29 per 1 million vaccinated individuals.
The overall risk of these two types of blood clot events occur naturally in about 1 in 1000 in the general population. With that being said, these numbers show that you’re more likely to be born with a blood clot disorder than to actually develop the condition after getting the AstraZeneca COVID-19 vaccine.
For now, large clinical trials for the AstraZeneca and JNJ (which are both base on adenovirus vector technology) have not shown any increased risk for blood clots.
It’s also important to note that the SARS-CoV-2 virus seems to cause thrombi in many patients, which might lead one to think that the vaccine may be the cause.
However, no live virus is used in the Pfizer, Moderna, JNJ, and AstraZeneca vaccines. All four of these vaccines induce the production of one small part of the virus, the spike protein, and for a limited time. On other hand, a real infection by SARS-CoV-2 will have billions of viruses all replicating and causing havoc to the body.