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Controversy over covid vaccine UPSC NOTE

 Why in News

  • Following pharmaceutical company AstraZeneca’s admission in U.K. court documents that its vaccine against COVID-19 has the potential to cause Thrombosis with Thrombocytopenia Syndrome (TTS).

  • Thrombocytopenia Syndrome (TTS) - a rare side effect associated with blood clotting.

  • They added that any adverse event associated with the vaccine would have occurred within 21 days to a month of the first dose.

  • A report in British newspaper The Daily Telegraph stated that in a legal document submitted to the High Court in London in February for a group action being brought by 51 claimants, AstraZeneca admitted that the vaccine developed with the University of Oxford to protect against COVID-19 may cause TTS in “very rare cases”.

  • “It is admitted that the AZ vaccine can, in very rare cases, cause TTS. The causal mechanism is not known. 

In a first, AstraZeneca admits its Covid vaccine Covishield can cause rare  side effects | World News - The Indian Express
  • Further, TTS can also occur in the absence of the AZ vaccine (or any vaccine). Causation in any individual case will be a matter for expert evidence,” the newspaper quoted the legal document.

  • The consequences of TTS are potentially life-threatening including strokes, brain damage, and heart attacks.

  • Doctors in India said this is not new information and that they are “well aware of the warning which has been available in India as an insert with the vaccine since the time it was introduced for general public here”.

Indian response to covishield

  • Both the Union Health Ministry and COVID-19 vaccine Covishield’s manufacturer Serum Institute of India on Tuesday issued no statement regarding the development. The Oxford–AstraZeneca COVID-19 vaccine is sold under the brand name Covishield in India.

  • In India, the product information with the vaccine clearly mentions TTS in its special warnings and special precautions for use section while adding that a “majority of the events occurred within the first 21 days following vaccination and some events had a fatal outcome”.

  • Doctors here said that the court admission now is “no secret”.

  • Rajeev Jayadevan, co-chairman of the National Indian Medical Association (IMA) COVID Task Force, said: “The court admission is nothing new. In fact, these are well documented facts validated since early 2021 (soon after vaccine rollout). The World Health Organisation (WHO) wrote about it in May 2021 and updated it in 2023.”

  • He added that clotting was an issue for persons who were administered the first dose of the vaccine and in the first month afterwards.

  • “Therefore, in 2024, people are not at risk of TTS. Also, heart attacks and strokes we see in practice are not caused by TTS, which is an exceptionally rare immunological reaction that leads to clots in certain locations,” he added.

  • “The clotting side effect of this vaccine is already known and is extremely rare. This is not the first time AstraZeneca admits risk of clotting events (again rarest side effect) associated with COVID,” Cyriac Abby Philips, hepatologist from Kerala, wrote in a social media post.



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Learnerz IAS | Concept oriented UPSC Classes in Malayalam: Controversy over covid vaccine UPSC NOTE
Controversy over covid vaccine UPSC NOTE
Learnerz IAS | Concept oriented UPSC Classes in Malayalam
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