AstraZeneca Admits Rare Blood Clot Disorder TTS Can Be Caused by Covishield

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In a recent legal document presented before the High Court of Justice in London, AstraZeneca has admitted that its Covid vaccine, Covishield, can in extremely rare cases induce Thrombosis with Thrombocytopenia Syndrome (TTS).


Background In 2020, amid the Covid-19 outbreak, the UK pharmaceutical firm collaborated with the University of Oxford to develop the AZD1222 vaccine. In India, this vaccine was marketed under the brand name Covishield, manufactured by the Serum Institute of India (SII) in Pune.

Understanding TTS TTS is a medical condition characterised by the formation of blood clots (thrombosis) alongside a low blood platelets count (thrombocytopenia). Thrombosis occurs when a clot forms within a blood vessel, potentially obstructing blood flow. Thrombocytopenia denotes a deficiency of platelets in the bloodstream, which play a crucial role in blood clotting, essential for preventing excessive bleeding. TTS often involves unusual blood clots, notably in the brain (cerebral venous sinus thrombosis) or abdomen. TTS is also known as vaccine-induced immune thrombotic thrombocytopenia (VITT).

Symptoms of TTS Symptoms of TTS can be severe. Individuals experiencing severe or persistent headaches, blurred vision, chest pain, shortness of breath, leg swelling, or continuous abdominal discomfort should be alert to the possibility of TTS. Additionally, easy bruising or small blood spots beneath the skin, extending beyond the injection site, may indicate the condition.

WHO’s Stand on TTS In 2023, the World Health Organization (WHO) highlighted TTS as a noteworthy adverse event following immunisation with Covid-19 non-replicant adenovirus vector-based vaccines. This includes the AstraZeneca Covid-19 ChAdOx-1 vaccine and the Johnson & Johnson (J&J) Janssen Covid-19 Ad26.COV2-S vaccines.

The Lawsuit Against AstraZeneca In the UK, AstraZeneca has faced a class action lawsuit over allegations that its vaccine led to fatalities and severe injuries in numerous instances. The first case was registered in 2023 by Jamie Scott, who received the vaccine in April 2021. Shortly after being inoculated with AstraZeneca’s vaccine, Scott said that he sustained a permanent brain injury due to the development of a blood clot and brain bleeding, rendering him unable to work.

AstraZeneca’s Response While AstraZeneca is disputing the allegations, it has accepted that its Covid vaccine “can, in very rare cases, cause TTS”. However, the pharmaceutical company admitted that the precise causal mechanism behind this phenomenon remains unknown.

Demand for Apology and Compensation Scott’s wife has demanded an apology and fair compensation for their family and others affected, adding that it took three years for the acknowledgment to materialise. “We have truth on our side, and we are not going to give up,” she said.

Cases Against AstraZeneca According to the latest report, 51 cases have been filed in the High Court by individuals affected by the vaccine and their families, seeking compensation estimated to be as high as UK pound 100 million. Legal representatives of people who have sued the company argue that the vaccine is “defective”, and that its efficacy has been “vastly overstated”. AstraZeneca has refute the allegations.

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