Canadian researchers claim to have identified some amino acids targeted by key antibodies in the blood of some people who have received AstraZeneca. Well, this particular reaction offers new clues as to what causes rare blood clots associated with the injection of this vaccine. The results of a scientific research were published online by the scientific journal Nature. The study could help doctors quickly test and treat the unusual clotting. The Canadian study analyzed blood samples from subjects vaccinated with AstraZeneca and is based on recent research conducted in Europe on rare drug-related blood clots. Health officials are monitoring rare side effects balanced with the proven value of vaccines in the fight against Covid-19. Blood clotting, which some scientists have called vaccine-induced immune thrombocytopenia, or VITT, has also been linked to Johnson & Johnson’s Covid-19 injection, although the incidents occurred less frequently than AstraZeneca.
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Although rare, the condition has proven fatal in more than 170 post-vaccination adults in the UK, Europe and the US. Many were young adults who looked healthy before vaccination, researchers say. The companies said they are undertaking further research to understand the problems. Health and government officials have said the benefits of both vaccines generally outweigh their risks. Mortimer Poncz, head of the division of pediatric hematology at Children’s Hospital of Philadelphia, who was not involved in the study, said the findings could help doctors quickly identify VITT and bring researchers closer to understanding the causes. Another researcher Andreas Greinacher, a professor of transfusion medicine at the German University Clinic in Greifswald, called the results “very interesting” as a new clue to vaccine-induced clotting that could improve treatment.
Rare reports of blood clots first surfaced in early March among people in Europe who had received the vaccine developed by AstraZeneca and the University of Oxford. Since then, the UK, Canada, Australia and countries in Europe and around the world have restricted the use of the vaccine to the elderly, with some countries rejecting the use of the vaccine altogether. AstraZeneca, with over 600 million doses distributed globally, remains an important drug, particularly for countries without access to more expensive injections. Researchers are pursuing studies to understand the rare combination of platelets and blood clots and their connection with the vaccine in the hopes of rapid diagnosis and treatment, and ultimately to prevent clot formation. VITT has occurred in 1 or 2 people in every 100,000 first doses of AstraZeneca in the UK, with cases most common in people under 50. The total number of cases after the first or second dose in the UK was 395 up to 23 June, out of approximately 45.2 million doses administered. Of the 395, 70 people died.