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Vax benefits outweigh risks of extremely rare potential side effects: AstraZeneca

07:27 PM Apr 30, 2024 IST | IANS
vax benefits outweigh risks of extremely rare potential side effects  astrazeneca
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New Delhi, April 30: Benefits of the Covid-19 vaccine far outweigh the risks of extremely rare potential side effects, pharma giant AstraZeneca said on Tuesday.

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The company's response, in a statement to IANS, comes amidst furore over the company admitting in UK court documents that its vaccine against Covid-19, developed in partnership with Oxford University, can raise the risk of a rare and serious blood clot.

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"From the body of evidence in clinical trials and real-world data, the AstraZeneca-Oxford vaccine has continuously been shown to have an acceptable safety profile," the statement said.

"Regulators around the world consistently state that the benefits of vaccination outweigh the risks of extremely rare potential side effects," it added.

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The Oxford-AstraZeneca Covid vaccine, sold as Covishield in India and Vaxzevria in Europe is a viral vector vaccine developed using the modified chimpanzee adenovirus ChAdOx1.

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In a legal document submitted to the UK High Court, in February, "AstraZeneca accepted that its Covid vaccine 'can, in very rare cases, cause TTS'", the Telegraph reported.

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Thrombosis Thrombocytopenia Syndrome (TTS) is a disorder that causes people to have blood clots and a low blood platelet count.

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A total of 51 cases have been lodged in the UK High Court against the pharmaceutical giant over claims that its Covid vaccine caused death and serious injury. The victims and grieving relatives have sought damages, estimated to be worth up to 100 million pounds, the report said.

The company also expressed sympathy with the people who suffered loss of lives or health due to its vaccine, and asserted that "patient safety is our highest priority".

"Our sympathy goes out to anyone who has lost loved ones or reported health problems," AstraZeneca said.

"Patient safety is our highest priority and regulatory authorities have clear and stringent standards to ensure the safe use of all medicines, including vaccines," the company added.

Meanwhile, health experts noted that AstraZeneca's Covid vaccine having side effects is nothing new in terms of information, and nothing new that should make us fearful.

"The furore about Covishield is quite surprising. Nothing new in terms of information and more importantly nothing in that information that should make us fearful of vaccines," Dr. Anurag Agrawal, a pulmonologist and Dean, BioSciences and Health Research, Trivedi School of Biosciences, Ashoka University, shared in a post on X.com.

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