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Widely Used COVID-19 Vaccine Withdrawn By Producer Over Dangerous Side Effect

Similar actions are expected in the UK and other nations where the vaccine was previously sanctioned under the name Vaxzevria.

By Nkiruka Aduba

The Oxford-AstraZeneca COVID-19 vaccine is globally discontinued due to concerns surrounding a rare and severe side effect, as reported by The Telegraph. This revelation followed the pharmaceutical company’s acknowledgment in court documents of the vaccine’s potential to induce such adverse reactions.

The company officially announced this decision on Tuesday, indicating the cessation of its marketing authorization in the European Union. The withdrawal process commenced on March 5 and was finalized on Tuesday.

Similar actions are expected in the UK and other nations where the vaccine was previously sanctioned under the name Vaxzevria.

Despite its initial acclaim, notably praised by Boris Johnson, who hailed it as a “triumph for British science” and attributed it to saving millions of lives, AstraZeneca stated that commercial considerations prompted the vaccine’s removal from the market.

They clarified that production and distribution of the vaccine have ceased, emphasizing the development of updated vaccines targeting emerging variants.

The statement read, “We are incredibly proud of the role Vaxzevria played in ending the global pandemic. According to independent estimates, over 6.5 million lives were saved in the first year of use alone and over three billion doses were supplied globally.

“Our efforts have been recognised by governments around the world and are widely regarded as being a critical component of ending the global pandemic.

“As multiple, variant Covid-19 vaccines have since been developed, there is a surplus of available updated vaccines. This has led to a decline in demand for Vaxzevria, which is no longer being manufactured or supplied. AstraZeneca has therefore taken the decision to initiate withdrawal of the marketing authorisations for Vaxzevria within Europe.

“We will now work with regulators and our partners to align on a clear path forward to conclude this chapter and significant contribution to the Covid-19 pandemic.”

In recent months, the Vaxzevria vaccine has come under intense scrutiny due to an exceedingly rare side effect involving blood clots and diminished blood platelet counts.

AstraZeneca, in court documents submitted to the High Court in February, admitted that the vaccine could, in extremely rare instances, lead to Thrombosis with Thrombocytopenia Syndrome (TTS).

TTS, associated with at least 81 deaths in the UK and numerous severe injuries, has prompted over 50 individuals to file a lawsuit against AstraZeneca, along with grieving family members, in a High Court case.

Despite the ongoing legal proceedings and their acknowledgment of the vaccine’s potential link to TTS, AstraZeneca asserts that their decision to withdraw the vaccine is not related.

They insist that the timing of the withdrawal is purely coincidental.

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