Comment: We told you so...

AstraZeneca on Tuesday announced that it has started the global withdrawal of its Covid-19 vaccine, days after the UK pharmaceutical company admitted that its vaccine has the potential to cause a rare side effect called Thrombosis with Thrombocytopenia Syndrome (TTS).

Comment: That's blood clots, by the way, which is why people learned to call these shots 'the clotshot'.

The company said the withdrawal was due to a "surplus of available updated vaccines" since the pandemic.

According to media reports, the Anglo-Swedish drugmaker had previously admitted in court documents that the vaccine causes side effects such as blood clots and low blood platelet counts.

The company also said its decision to remove the vaccine Vaxzevria's marketing authorizations within Europe, noting that this oversupply has resulted in a decrease in demand for Vaxzevria, which is no longer being produced or distributed.

"As multiple, variant Covid-19 vaccines have since been developed there is a surplus of available updated vaccines," the company said, adding that this had led to a decline in demand for Vaxzevria, which is no longer being manufactured or supplied.

AstraZeneca which collaborated with the University of Oxford to create the vaccine is currently dealing with a lawsuit that claims their vaccine has caused deaths and severe harm to those who received it.

The UK-based pharma company also collaborated with the Serum Institute of India (SII), the largest vaccine producer globally, to provide the vaccine (Covishield) to the Indian government.

The Telegraph, which initially reported the news, said that AstraZeneca's application to withdraw the vaccine was submitted on March 5 and became effective on May 7.

Previous year, Jamie Scott, a father of two, took legal action after suffering from a blood clot that left him unable to work. Scott said that he developed a "blood clot and a bleed on his brain", leaving him with a lasting brain injury following his vaccination in April 2021.

According to The Telegraph, Scott's wife Kate said, "The medical world has acknowledged for a long time that vaccine-induced immune thrombocytopenia and thrombosis (VITT) was caused by the vaccine."

However, in May 2023, the company informed Scott's lawyers that they do not acknowledge that TTS is induced by the vaccine on a general level.

Later in the legal document submitted to the high court, the multinational pharmaceutical company said, "It is admitted that the AZ vaccine can, in very rare cases, cause TTS. The causal mechanism is not known."

"Our sympathy goes out to anyone who has lost loved ones or reported health problems. Patient safety is our highest priority, and regulatory authorities have clear and stringent standards to ensure the safe use of all medicines, including vaccines," AstraZeneca said in a statement.

"From the body of evidence in clinical trials and real-world data, the AstraZeneca-Oxford vaccine has continuously been shown to have an acceptable safety profile and regulators around the world consistently state that the benefits of vaccination outweigh the risks of extremely rare potential side effects," it noted.

As per the report, fifty-one cases have been filed in the High Court, with affected individuals and their families pursuing compensation amounting to an estimated £100 million.
(With Reuters input)