• 23 Jun, 2024

AstraZeneca Pulls Covid Vaccine Globally

AstraZeneca Pulls Covid Vaccine Globally

Facing scrutiny over rare blood clot concerns, AstraZeneca pharmaceutical company has opted to withdraw its COVID-19 vaccine from markets worldwide, citing diminished demand in favor of other options.

The decision follows recent acknowledgment by the company that the vaccine can, in rare instances, lead to potentially fatal blood clots. A spokesperson for AstraZeneca, in a statement reported by multiple media sources on Wednesday, noted a decline in demand for Vaxzevria amid the development of multiple vaccine variants since the pandemic's onset. The company confirmed cessation of manufacturing and development of the vaccine, while also highlighting independent estimates suggesting significant global impact, with "over 6.5 million lives saved in the first year of use alone and over 3 billion doses supplied globally."

AstraZeneca's vaccine rollout commenced early in 2021, coinciding with the World Health Organization's declaration of the Covid-19 outbreak as a pandemic. Last March, AstraZeneca voluntarily withdrew market authorization for the vaccine in the EU, as confirmed by the European Medicines Agency.

The company faced controversy shortly after the rollout, as several Western countries suspended vaccine usage due to concerns over potential blood clotting. Despite these concerns, EU health officials maintained that the benefits of vaccination outweighed the risks.

Recent months have seen AstraZeneca embroiled in legal disputes, including a class-action lawsuit alleging vaccine defects and reduced safety. The company refuted these claims.

Plaintiffs attribute Thrombosis with Thrombocytopenia Syndrome (TTS) to the vaccine, a rare condition characterized by blood clots and low platelet counts. This condition, allegedly linked to the vaccine, has reportedly caused fatalities and serious injuries.

While initially denying a causal relationship between the vaccine and TTS, AstraZeneca admitted in UK High Court documents last February that "the AZ vaccine can, in very rare cases, cause TTS," though the exact mechanism remains unknown. The company maintains the vaccine's overall safety profile is acceptable.