In DepthCOVID-19

Side effect worry grows for AstraZeneca vaccine

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Science  02 Apr 2021:
Vol. 372, Issue 6537, pp. 14-15
DOI: 10.1126/science.372.6537.14

Summary

It's been one step forward, two back for AstraZeneca's COVID-19 vaccine. Even as the company rebutted criticism of its efficacy claims last week, a bigger problem loomed for the vaccine and the many millions depending on it. Evidence continues to accumulate that an unusual clotting disorder seen in dozens of European recipients is a real, albeit rare, side effect. A preprint has detailed a proposed mechanism, and multiple scientific groups have said the worry is legitimate and must be seriously weighed against the vaccine's COVID-19 protection. This week, Canada and Germany joined Iceland, Sweden, Finland, and France in recommending against the vaccine's use in younger people, who seem to be at higher risk for the clotting problem and are less likely to develop severe COVID-19.

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