AstraZeneca injection linked to strokes in young adults

AstraZeneca and Johnson & Johnson’s (J&J) COVID injections came under scrutiny again this week as more reports of deaths, largely due to blood clotting disorders, emerged from Belgium, Canada, and Greece.

Adding to the problems for vaccine manufacturers is a new report from London from researchers (Institute of Neurology, London, UK), which identifies the first cases of strokes that occurred in young adults who received the AstraZeneca vaccine , which was co-developed by the University of Oxford in the UK.

The first cases of large vessel arterial occlusion strokes in young adults associated with the AstraZeneca vaccine were first described in detail in a letter published online in the Journal of Neurology Neurosurgery & Psychiatry.

Belgium Suspends Use of J&J Vaccine
Belgium said Wednesday that it was suspending vaccinations with the J&J vaccine , for people under 41 years of age, following the death of a woman from blood clots after receiving the shot. This is the second time Belgium has put the single-injection vaccine on hold.

“The interministerial conference has decided to temporarily administer the Janssen vaccine to the general population from the age of 41 years, pending a more detailed risk-benefit analysis by the EMA,” said a statement issued by Belgium’s federal health minister and seven regional counterparts. .

The woman, who was under 40, died on May 21 after being admitted to hospital with severe thrombosis and platelet deficiency, Reuters reported .

The government sought urgent advice from the European Union’s drug regulator, the European Medicines Agency (EMA), before considering lifting the suspension.

The EMA said it is reviewing the woman’s death in Belgium, along with other reports of blood clots, with the Belgian and Slovenian drug agencies, and has asked J&J to conduct a series of additional studies to help assess a possible link between the injections and rare blood clots.

J&J said on April 20 that it would resume the EU launch of its COVID vaccine, marketed under the company’s Janssen subsidiary, with a warning on its label, after several countries, including Belgium , stopped the vaccine for the first time amid concerns about its possible link to blood clotting disorders .

The EMA confirmed a “possible link” but concluded that the benefits of the vaccine outweighed the risks. The drug regulator’s safety committee (PRAC) said that a warning should be added to the product label , but that blood clotting disorders should be included as “very rare” side effects of the vaccine.

On April 23, the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC) voted to resume use of J&J’s vaccine without restrictions after the vaccine was stopped to investigate reports of rare blood clots. The CDC advisory panel’s recommendation said the link between blood clots and J&J’s COVID vaccine was “plausible,” but concluded that the benefits of the vaccine outweighed the risks and recommended use for people 18 and older in the U.S. According to the FDA’s Emergency Use Authorization .

J&J has said that a clear causal relationship between its vaccine and blood clots has not been established.

Researchers identify strokes in young adults after AstraZeneca injection.
There were three cases , one of which was fatal, occurred in two women and one man in their 30s and 40s who developed features of vaccine-induced immune thrombotic thrombocytopenia (VITT) , vaccine-induced immune thrombotic thrombocytopenia (VITT) a reaction associated with the AstraZeneca vaccine.

“These are the first detailed reports of arterial stroke thought to be caused by VITT following the AstraZeneca COVID vaccine, although stroke has been mentioned previously in the VITT data,” lead author Dr. David Werring, professor of clinical neurology at Stroke Research Centre, Queen Square Institute of Neurology, University College London, told Medscape Medical News .

“VITT has most commonly presented as CVST (cerebral venous sinus thrombosis) which is a stroke caused by venous thrombosis; these cases demonstrate that it can also cause a stroke caused by arterial thrombosis,” Werring explained.

Werring noted that the reports add nothing to the overall risk/benefit of the vaccine, as they only describe three cases. “While VITT is very serious, the benefit of the vaccine still outweighs its risks,” he said.

The first case , a 35-year-old woman, experienced intermittent headaches on the right side and around the eyes for six days after vaccination. Five days later, she awoke drowsy and with weakness in her left face, arm and leg.

Imaging revealed that the woman had a blocked right middle cerebral artery with cerebral infarction and clots in the right portal vein. She underwent brain surgery to reduce pressure in the skull, plasma removal and replacement, and treatment with anticoagulant and fondaparinux, but suffered brain stem death and subsequently died.

The second case, a 37-year-old woman, presented with headache, confusion, left arm weakness, and left-sided vision loss 12 days after vaccination with AstraZeneca. Imaging showed occlusion of both carotid arteries, as well as blood clots in her lungs and brain. He improved clinically with treatment.

The third case occurred in a 43-year-old man who presented 21 days after vaccination with slurred speech. Imaging showed a clot in the left middle cerebral artery. He was treated and remains stable.

Researchers said young patients who present with ischemic stroke after receiving AstraZeneca’s vaccine should be urgently evaluated for VITT.

Ontario man dies of ‘rare but real’ blood clot after first AstraZeneca dose
An Ontario man in his 40s died after receiving his first dose of the AstraZeneca vaccine, public health officials confirmed Tuesday .

Dr. Barbara Yaffe, Ontario’s associate medical director of health, said his death is under investigation, but that the man suffered from VITT .

“While the investigation is ongoing and the final cause of death has not yet been officially determined, it has been confirmed that the individual had VITT at the time of his death,” Yaffe said Tuesday. “The risks associated with this vaccine are [rare], but they are real.”

Chief medical officer Dr. David Williams restricted AstraZeneca’s vaccines for people who had not yet received the first dose as of May 11 because of a higher-than-expected rate of blood clots.

Greece investigates four cases of blood clots after AstraZeneca injection.
Α 63-year-old woman from Greece died of blood clots after vaccination with AstraZeneca. The case was one of four being investigated by the National Medicines Organization (EOF) in search of a possible correlation between the AstraZeneca vaccine and rare blood clots, according to the Greek City Times .

Also in Greece, a 44-year-old woman is in serious condition after experiencing VITT. Her case was the second incident found by EOF related to the vaccine, according to the Greek reporter .

A third incident of blood clotting involved a 35-year-old Crete man who suffered two blood clots after receiving the AstraZeneca vaccine. The man was hospitalized after suffering a blood clot in his leg a few days after receiving the jab. He suffered a second blood clot in his brain while he was hospitalized

European regulators said they confirmed a “possible link” between AstraZeneca’s COVID vaccine and ” very rare ” blood clots, but concluded that the benefits of the vaccine still outweigh the risks.

The EMA did not recommend restricting use of the vaccine based on age, sex, or other risk factors, but said cases of blood clotting after vaccination “should” be included as a possible side effect, according to a statement issued by the agency’s safety committee. .

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