AstraZeneca recalls its COVID-19 vaccine worldwide

AstraZeneca has announced a global recall of its COVID-19 vaccine, developed jointly with the University of Oxford, after confirming the potential occurrence of a rare side effect – thrombosis with thrombocytopenia (TTS) – in legal documents. While the mechanism of the disease remains unknown, AstraZeneca acknowledged in its statement that the vaccine may, in rare cases, cause thrombosis. Hundreds of fatal cases have been reported worldwide following vaccination with the AstraZeneca vaccine. In the UK alone, more than 50 affected families have filed lawsuits against the company.

The decision was made after the company confirmed the possibility of TTS development in rare cases in legal documents submitted to the High Court of the United Kingdom. The syndrome is characterized by the formation of blood clots and a decrease in platelet levels in the blood. The international pharmaceutical company filed for the withdrawal of the marketing authorization for the vaccine on March 5, and this decision came into effect several months later.

The company insists that the recall occurred for commercial reasons: numerous updated vaccines have emerged worldwide, leading to reduced demand for Vaxzevria in Europe. As a result, the product is no longer being manufactured or supplied. AstraZeneca states that this decision is in no way related to legal proceedings.

In February, AstraZeneca acknowledged in documents submitted to the High Court that the vaccine may cause TTS in very rare cases. The mechanism of this syndrome’s development has not yet been established. The company expressed regret to individuals who have experienced the loss of loved ones or health issues, emphasizing that patient safety remains its top priority. However, based on clinical trials and data from vaccinated individuals, AstraZeneca claims that their vaccine has an acceptable safety profile, and its benefits outweigh the risks of rare side effects.

The legal proceedings against AstraZeneca, involving 51 plaintiffs and their families, are related to the alleged impact of the vaccine on health, including the development of TTS. The affected individuals and their relatives are seeking compensation totaling approximately £100 million.

In 2021, the European Medicines Agency and the UK Medicines and Healthcare products Regulatory Agency reported that thrombosis could occur after vaccination with this vaccine. However, both agencies continued to recommend it, as they believed that the benefits outweighed the potential risks.

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