There have been consistent reports of rare, yet fatal cases of blood clots linked to the AstraZeneca COVID vaccine form around the world. In fact, Denmark has become the first country in the world to stop the use of the AstraZeneca vaccine completely over the possible link of the vaccine with the rare blood clot issue. But, does the AstraZeneca vaccine cause blood clots? we will make an attempt at understanding the finer points of what causes some COVID vaccine to result in blood clots.
What causes Blood clots with AstraZeneca Vaccine?
There is no consensus among the experts and researchers on what causes the rare blood clots in some individuals. It has been a medical mystery as things stand as of now.
Like Sabine Eichinger, a haematologist at the Medical University of Vienna aptly puts it,
The issue was first noticed by Eichinger. he noticed that the vaccine or something in the process can introduce a very peculiar type of blood clots. The clot can indeed be potentially fatal. The issue can result in serious consequences if the clot occurs in the brain and lungs. It may be remembered that a similar issue was observed in the drug heparin which is a blood thinner.
One of the prime issues in helping investigate the case is that these kinds of blood clots can also happen even without the vaccines. People might have had the clots well before they were vaccinated. This further makes it difficult to analyse and find the actual causes of the blood clots and whether it is actually related to the vaccine or any other preconditions that the patient already suffers.
How does AstraZeneca Vaccine work?
Most of the vaccines are designed to teach our body to make antibodies so that your body will be ready to fight the disease when t is affected. The AstraZeneca vaccine creates a modified version of the key protein of the virus SARS-CoV-2 that cause the COVID-19. This key protein is referred to as spike protein. The cell’s immune system detects the foreign object and learns how to attack it. This comes in handy and prevents the real attack from COVID-19.
Other vaccines such as the one produced by Johnson and Johnson and the Sputnik V developed by Russia use the same adenovirus concept for inducing the immune system. The Pfizer/BioNTech and Moderna vaccines use a different technology, known as mRNA.
What next with the Side effects?
The European watchdog has expressed worries about the potential link between the vaccine and unusual blood clots caused by it. But in addition, it has also indicated that the mortality from the COVID-19 heavily outweighs the side effects. The blood clot issues have been observed to be extremely rare.
The major issue is that there is no clear information available as of now on what causes the unusual concern. If it is some part or component of the adenovirus that is mimicking the behaviour of platelet factor 4, you should perhaps the issue with other vaccines that use the adenovirus concept. It may be remembered that there were reports of similar blood clot issues reported in the case of the Johnson and Johnson vaccine as well.
AstraZeneca has already gone on record stating that the rare side effect has been observed only in 37 cases in the case of 17 million people vaccinated in the EU and the UK. In essence, this number is quite lower when compared to the actual illness or blood clot is observed through natural means even without vaccines. There is no evidence that the vaccine itself causes any sort of issues such as the increased risk of blood clots, deep vein thrombosis.
Those doubts and issues apart, it may be essential to note that the AstraZeneca vaccine has been able to save lives across the world. With the disease having caused the death of over three million lives worldwide, there are a few risks you should perhaps be willing to take. Perhaps it should be a good decision that the individual governments can take depending on how the issue has affected their own population.