DOH Resumes AstraZeneca Vaccination To All Age Groups

    DOH Resumes AstraZeneca Vaccination To All Age Groups

    The Department of Health (DOH) has postponed AstraZeneca vaccination in peopled aged 60 and below, citing that the rare incidences of blood clotting occur in the younger population. What do experts say about the potential blood clots side-effects after getting the AstraZeneca vaccine?

    Reports of “thrombotic incidences” after AstraZeneca shot poured in from several countries

    By now, many people understand that receiving any type of COVID-19 vaccine can trigger mild side-effects, such as pain in the injection site and mild fever. The possibility of a severe allergic reaction, while rare, is also there.

    But blood clots paint a completely different picture.

    In the first week of March1, Austrian authorities reported the death of a 49-year old woman due to a “severe coagulation disorder.” The disorder took place after she received the AstraZeneca vaccine. Later, the authorities revealed another incident: a 35-year old man vaccinated with the same vaccine is now recovering after having blood clots in his lungs.

    From two incidences in Austria, reports of thrombotic incidences after an AstraZeneca shot came pouring in from different countries, like Norway and Denmark.

    Update:

    Denmark has now completely stopped their AstraZeneca vaccine roll-out.

    blood clots side-effects after vaccine

    Norwegian authorities2 even detailed that they treated three people for “cerebral hemorrhages and severe blood clots” after getting vaccinated. These people, they highlighted, were all of “younger age.”

    On March 11, The European Medicines Agency (EMA) cited3 30 cases of thrombotic events among almost 5 million people in the European Economic Area who had the AstraZeneca vaccine.

    Update:

    In their latest statement, EMA said the benefits of AstraZeneca, now called Vaxevria, continue to outweigh the risks in all age groups. However, “very rare cases” of blood clotting with low platelet count may occur after vaccination.

    WHO: No association between thrombotic incidences and AstraZeneca vaccine

    On March 16, the World Health Organization’s chief scientist, Soumya Swaminathan, emphasized4 that, so far, they do not see a connection between the potential blood clots side-effects and the AstraZeneca vaccine.

    For this reason, they urge the countries not to halt their vaccine rollout.

    To date, Thailand has announced that they will be pushing through with their vaccination program using AstraZeneca despite delaying it before due to safety concerns. Indonesia, on the other hand, delayed its rollout until further notice.

    AstraZeneca: “The number of thrombotic incidences was small.”

    AstraZeneca continues to assure the people of their vaccine’s safety based on “clear scientific evidence.” The data they gathered from 200 million people who received the vaccine also showed that the occurrences of blood clots with low platelet are “very rare.”

    Despite this, the company behind AstraZeneca believes that the safety of the public should always come first; hence, they are keeping the issue under close review.

    Update:

    In their most recent post, AstraZeneca said that regulating agencies see a connection between the vaccine and blood clots with low platelet. For this reason, the agencies requested them to list the incidence as an “extremely rare potential side-effect.”

    The Philippines halts AstraZeneca vaccine rollout to people aged 60 and below

    The Department of Health (DOH) and the Food and Drug Administration (FDA) are aware that some countries have paused their AstraZeneca vaccine rollout due to the reports of potential blood clots side-effects.

    To date, the Department has suspended AstraZeneca vaccination to peopled aged 60 and below, following reports of blood clotting incidences with low platelet in younger population. The suspension, according to officials, is temporary, as they further evaluate the vaccine.

    Update:

    The DOH resumes AstraZeneca rollout to all age groups.

    Key Takeaways

    • Various countries have halted the rollout of the AstraZeneca vaccine after reports of potential blood clots side-effects.
    • The WHO announced that currently, they see no connection between the vaccine and the thrombotic incidences.
    • AstraZeneca issued a statement saying that their vaccine is safe and that the number of blood clot events in the vaccinated population is extremely rare.
    • The Philippines resumes AstraZeneca rollout to all age groups.

    Find more of the latest health news here.

    Hello Health Group does not provide medical advice, diagnosis or treatment.

    Sources

    1) Sweden joins Germany, France, and 15 other countries in suspending AstraZeneca’s vaccine over possible side effects
    https://www.businessinsider.com/astrazeneca-covid-vaccine-countries-suspend-denmark-thailand-batch-blood-clots-2021-3
    Accessed March 17, 2021

    2) Norway Reports Three Blood Clot Cases After AstraZeneca Shot
    https://www.bloomberg.com/news/articles/2021-03-13/norway-reports-3-severe-blood-clot-cases-after-astrazeneca-shot
    Accessed March 17, 2021

    3) COVID-19 Vaccine AstraZeneca: PRAC investigating cases of thromboembolic events – vaccine’s benefits currently still outweigh risks – Update
    https://www.ema.europa.eu/en/news/covid-19-vaccine-astrazeneca-prac-investigating-cases-thromboembolic-events-vaccines-benefits
    Accessed March 17, 2021

    4) Covid-19: WHO says rollout of AstraZeneca vaccine should continue, as Europe divides over safety
    https://www.bmj.com/content/372/bmj.n728
    Accessed March 17, 2021

    5) WHO urges world not to halt vaccinations as AstraZeneca shot divides Europe
    https://www.reuters.com/article/us-health-coronavirus-idUSKBN2B71PU
    Accessed March 17, 2021

    6) Update on the safety of COVID-19 Vaccine AstraZeneca
    https://www.astrazeneca.com/media-centre/press-releases/2021/update-on-the-safety-of-covid-19-vaccine-astrazeneca.html
    Accessed March 17, 2021

    7) DOH, FDA: NO REASON TO HALT ASTRAZENECA VACCINATION IN PH; BENEFITS CONTINUE TO OUTWEIGH RISKS
    https://doh.gov.ph/doh-press-release/DOH-FDA-NO-REASON-TO-HALT-ASTRAZENECA-VACCINATION-IN-PH-BENEFITS-CONTINUE-TO-OUTWEIGH-RISKS
    Accessed March 17, 2021

    8) PH TO RECEIVE 5M TO 9M ASTRAZENECA DOSES FROM COVAX BY Q2
    https://doh.gov.ph/doh-press-release/PH-TO-RECEIVE-5M-TO-9M-ASTRAZENECA-DOSES-FROM-COVAX-BY-Q2
    Accessed March 17, 2021

    DOH, FDA TEMPORARILY SUSPEND ASTRAZENECA VACCINATION FOR PERSONS BELOW 60, ASSURE SAFETY AND VALIDITY OF VACCINES
    https://doh.gov.ph/doh-press-release/DOH-FDA-TEMPORARILY-SUSPEND-ASTRAZENECA-VACCINATION-FOR-PERSONS-BELOW-60-ASSURE-SAFETY-AND-VALIDITY-OF-VACCINES
    Accessed May 10, 2021

    Update following MHRA and EMA decisions on AstraZeneca’s COVID-19 vaccine
    https://www.astrazeneca.com/media-centre/articles/2021/update-following-mhra-and-ema-decisions-on-astrazenecas-covid-19-vaccine.html
    Accessed May 10, 2021

    AstraZeneca’s COVID-19 vaccine: benefits and risks in context
    https://www.ema.europa.eu/en/news/astrazenecas-covid-19-vaccine-benefits-risks-context
    Accessed May 10, 2021

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    Written by Lorraine Bunag, R.N. Updated Jun 22, 2021
    Medically reviewed by Ika Villanueva Caperonce, MD