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Co-creator of AstraZeneca COVID Shoot protects safety amid concerns about blood clots By Reuters

© Reuters. FILE PHOTO: Professor Adrian Hill speaks to members of the media at the Jenner Institute in Oxford

By Kate Kelland

LONDON (Reuters) – One of the Oxford scientists co-developed AstraZeneca’s (NASDAQ 🙂 COVID-19 vaccine protected its safety on Friday and said he was not worried that some countries has chosen to limit the use of this vaccine amid concerns about the potential associated with very rare side effects.

Adrian Hill, director of the Jenner Institute at Oxford University, said teams around the world are working to identify any potential mechanisms that could cause blood clots, using potential data. So many injections have been done.

He agrees with pharmaceutical regulators in the UK, and Europe, and with World Health Organization experts, that the benefit-risk balance with coronavirus injections should prioritize use. it.

“If several countries choose to use one vaccine (COVID), there will be more vaccines for other countries,” Hill told Reuters. “We don’t see this as a big deal.”

More than a dozen European countries have suspended AstraZeneca’s COVID-19 vaccine, known as Vaxzevria, amid reports of low platelet-associated blood clots in a very small number of people. have been injected. Many countries have continued to use this shot, but with some restrictions.

After reviewing the safety reports, the European Medicines Authority (EMA) stated that while there may be an association, a direct causal link has not yet been established and the benefits of the vaccine in preventing the serious COVID-19 disease is significant.

When asked if he was surprised by the reports of blood clots occurring in the UK, Norway, Germany and other countries that are deploying Vaxzevria, Hill said side effects were extremely rare. such will not appear even in large-scale trials with tens of thousands of people. of the participants.

“Nobody can ever detect something going on in one in 300,000 people – and possibly lethal for about 1 in a million – if you’re studying the order of 10,000 to 20,000 vaccines,” he said. he said.

“These very, very rare side effects are difficult to spot with any vaccine. The good thing is that we can now detect them – because of the data link infrastructure in the UK and many other countries it can be done quickly. “

AstraZeneca’s vaccine uses a non-replicating cold virus called adenovirus to deliver mutant proteins into cells and induce an immune response.

Hill said the underlying mechanism behind any possible link between vaccines and rare cases of blood clotting is “an issue that has been heavily studied by groups around the world”, including group at the Jenner Institute and AstraZeneca.

“It can take a long time to learn,” he said. “I think we’ll be able to do it reasonably quickly and hopefully come up with an effective vaccination regimen or method that completely avoids this problem. But we need to … Find out more before that happens. “

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