COVID-19 Vaccine Withdrawn Globally Amid Fatal Blood Clot Concerns

AstraZeneca, the British-Swedish pharmaceutical behemoth, has announced the global withdrawal of its COVID-19 vaccine. This decision comes in the wake of the company’s acknowledgment that the vaccine could potentially cause fatal blood clots. Despite facing a class-action lawsuit from alleged victims and families of deceased victims, AstraZeneca maintains that the withdrawal is due to commercial reasons.

The Oxford-AstraZeneca COVID-19 vaccine, a viral-vector vaccine, was developed in partnership with Oxford University and manufactured by the Serum Institute of India for various companies. The vaccine, which uses a modified version of a chimpanzee adenovirus, was marketed under different brand names, including Vaxzevria and Covishield. The vaccine was approved for use in the United Kingdom in December 2020 and later by the World Health Organization. Although it was never approved for use in the United States, the Biden administration agreed to distribute up to 60 million doses to other countries.

Within a year of its approval, the vaccine had been administered over 2.5 billion times globally. It was hailed as a “triumph for British science” by then-British Prime Minister Boris Johnson and was widely promoted as “safe and effective” by mainstream media and various health experts on both sides of the Atlantic. However, some individuals who received the vaccine experienced severe side effects, contradicting the assurances of these so-called experts.

In 2021, medical professionals began to observe that some healthy individuals were suffering severe injuries or even dying after receiving the AstraZeneca vaccine. As evidence of a link between the vaccine and adverse side effects mounted, several countries temporarily suspended the use of the vaccine due to reports of abnormal bleeding, low blood platelets, blood clots, and sudden deaths.

Research conducted by German and Nordic scientists found that some vaccine recipients were developing a clotting disorder known as “vaccine-induced immune thrombotic thrombocytopenia,” which produced antibodies that activated platelets and led to clots. The researchers suggested that the risk of the vaccine causing harm was one in 100,000 — a higher probability than the vaccine preventing hospitalization from COVID in patients under 30.

Jamie Scott, a father of two who suffered a permanent clot-related brain injury after receiving the AstraZeneca vaccine in April 2021, initiated a lawsuit against the company. This action sparked a wave of similar complaints, leading to a class-action lawsuit involving over 50 alleged victims.

In a significant turn of events, AstraZeneca admitted in a February court document that “it is admitted that the AZ vaccine can, in very rare cases, cause TTS. The causal mechanism is not known.” This admission marked a departure from the company’s previous denials of any causal link between the vaccine and adverse side effects.

AstraZeneca voluntarily withdrew its “marketing authorization” in the European Union on March 5, shortly after filing court documents containing its blood-clot admission. The company is expected to follow suit in other markets where its vaccine was approved. The company cited the availability of other “updated vaccines” as the reason for the withdrawal.

AstraZeneca stated, “We are incredibly proud of the role Vaxzevria played in ending the global pandemic. According to independent estimates, over 6.5 million lives were saved in the first year of use alone and over three billion doses were supplied globally.” The company added that it would work with regulators and partners to conclude this chapter of its contribution to the COVID-19 pandemic.

Sarah Moore, a partner with the law firm representing the group action, told the Telegraph, “To those who we represent, all of whom have suffered bereavement or serious injury as a result of the AstraZeneca vaccine, this decision to withdraw marketing authorization, ending the usage of the AstraZeneca vaccine in the EU, will be welcomed.”