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AstraZeneca withdraws deadly Covid vaccine globally

08 May, 2024 16:33

AstraZeneca has announced to withdraw its Covid-19 vaccine after multiple side effects which are very rare but life-threatening.

The vaccine reportedly triggers new variants of the virus in a few cases.

The application to withdraw the vaccine from the EU was tabled on 5 March and came into effect on 7 May.

The decision was made because there is now a variety of newer vaccines available that have been adapted to target Covid-19 variants, AstraZeneca said in a statement.

“According to independent estimates, over 6.5 million lives were saved in the first year of use alone and over 3bn doses were supplied globally,” the statement said.

AstraZeneca admitted that its vaccine, initially called Covishield, could cause very rare side effects like blood clots and low blood platelet counts, The Telegraph reported.

Several countries have already stopped supplying the vaccine. It has not been available for use in Australia since March 2023.

AstraZeneca changed the name of its Covid vaccine to Vaxzevria in 2021. The vaccine was authorised for use in those aged 18 and older, delivered as two injections, usually into the muscle of the upper arm, about three month apart.

It was also used by some countries as a booster shot.

Thought, the vaccine was found to be safe and effective overall, it carried the risk of a rare but serious side-effect, known as thrombosis with thrombocytopenia, or TTS.

The rare syndrome occurred in about two to three people per 100,000 who were vaccinated with the Vaxzevria vaccine.

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