Scientists Pinpoint ‘Trigger’ Behind Blood Clots with AstraZeneca Vaccine

Source: CNBC

An American-British team of scientists believes it had discovered the “trigger” behind the extremely rare blood clot formation in certain patients inoculated with the Oxford/AstraZeneca Covid-19 vaccine, officially known as Vaxzevria.

TTS is a life-threatening condition, which involves the formation of blood clots, detected in a very small number of people who developed it after receiving the Oxford-AstraZeneca or J& J jab.

The team comprised of scientists from Arizona State University and Cardiff University, who worked closely with AstraZeneca to investigate the causes of thrombosis with vaccine-induced immune thrombocytopenia(VITT),  believe they have identified a blood protein that is attracted to a key component of the vaccine.

According to the researchers whose study was published on Wednesday in the Science Advances journal, the protein implicated in thrombosis is able to form stable complexes with clinically relevant adenoviruses.

A patient’s immune system can confuse the platelet factor 4 (blood protein) with the virus and release antibodies to attack it, and if they later clump together, they’re triggering blood clots.

The study authors underscore that their finding is an important step forward towards understanding the mechanisms behind thrombosis with TT syndrome that sometimes develops in patients after receiving an adenovirus-based vaccine.

Yet, they reiterate that this is an extremely rare condition that requires many complicated factors to coincide for it to occur.

According to AstraZeneca’s spokeswoman, the research offers them interesting insights that will help them in the efforts to remove this extremely rare side effect caused by their vaccine.

AstraZeneca scientists also took part in the research, joining in at a later stage. “Although is not definitive, it and is exploring ways to leverage these findings as part of our efforts,” a for the company said, as quoted by BBC.

According to UK government’s data published this summer, the estimated overall incidence of blood clots is around 14.9 per million doses of Vaxzevria, but even though these side effects are rare, they were serious enough for UK authorities to recommend alternative vaccines to people younger than 40 and to prompt several countries to suspend altogether the use of the AstraZeneca vaccine

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