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German scientists claim to have finally cracked the vaccine blood clot puzzle

The coronavirus vaccine rollout in the UK has been vaunted and for good reason – it appears to be ushering in the end of the pandemic in Britain. However, AstraZeneca and Johnson and Johnson have been back into the fray this week after reports emerged of two fatalities linked to a rare blood clot disorder following vaccination. Why some vaccines cause rare blood events and others don’t has puzzled the scientific community.
Some of the instructions for making coronavirus proteins can be misread, potentially triggering blood clot disorders in a small number of recipients, they suggested.

According to Dr Rolf Marschalek, a professor at Goethe University who led the study, after entering the nucleus, parts of the spike protein splice or split apart and create mutant versions which are unable to bind to the cell membrane.

The spike protein is found on the surface of the virus that causes COVID-19. It facilitates the coronavirus’ entry into host cells.

These mutant versions then enter the body and trigger the rare blood clots, Dr Marschalek suggested.

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Marschalek told the Financial Times that the process is different with mRNA vaccines, such as those made by Pfizer and Moderna, because the genetic material of the spike protein is sent directly to the cell fluid and does not enter the nucleus.

The yet to be peer-reviewed study also suggests that those making vaccines using adenovirus vectors could alter the sequence of the spike protein “to avoid unintended splice reactions and to increase the safety of these pharmaceutical products.”

Johnson & Johnson, in an emailed statement to Reuters, said: “We are supporting continued research and analysis of this rare event as we work with medical experts and global health authorities. We look forward to reviewing and sharing data as it becomes available.”

AstraZeneca declined to comment.

What are my chances of developing a blood clot?

It must be stressed that the blood clotting disorder is an extremely rare occurrence in people receiving a coronavirus vaccine.

According to the latest data, out of the 30.8 million doses of the University of Oxford/ AstraZeneca vaccine administered in the UK between 9 December 2020 and 5 May 2021, there have been over 260 cases of thrombosis with thrombocytopenia.

This is the equivalent of 10.9 cases per million doses.

The vast majority of events have been reported following the first dose and only eight after the second dose.

The latest MHRA guidance on COVID-19 vaccines and blood clots states that the risk is currently estimated to be around one in 100,000 for people over 50 and one in 50,000 for people aged between 18 and 49 years.

Nonetheless, for people aged between 18 and 49 the guidance states that “if you are offered the [University of Oxford/AstraZeneca] vaccination you may wish to go ahead after you have considered all the risks and benefits for you.”

Am I eligible to receive a coronavirus vaccine?

The NHS is currently offering the coronavirus (COVID-19) vaccine to people most at risk.

You can get the COVID-19 vaccine if:

  • You’re aged 30 or over
  • You’ll turn 30 before 1 July 2021.

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This post originally appeared on Daily Express :: Health Feed
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Does Pfizer have a blood clot risk? Latest advice for the Covid vaccine

The Pfizer Covid vaccine may cause side effects, although not everybody gets them. Experts advise the most common side effects are pain at the injection site, tiredness, headache, muscle pain, chills, joint pain and fever, but that most side effects are mild or moderate and go away within a few days of appearing. But is the Pfizer vaccine associated with a risk of blood clots like the AstraZeneca jab?  
According to the UK government’s latest advice, blood clots, specifically vaccine-induced thrombosis and thrombocytopenia (VITT), have not been associated with the Pfizer vaccine.

In April, concerns started to emerge in Australia about the Pfizer vaccine’s association with blood clots.

A 40-year-old police sergeant from Brisbane made headlines after developing a blood clot three days after receiving the vaccine.

But a statement released by Queensland police revealed the man, who works in the state’s hotel quarantine system, returned to duty and had a history of clotting.

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VITT was found to be a very rare adverse event characterised by presence of blood clots with low levels of platelets following vaccination with the AstraZeneca vaccine.

Between 9 December 2020 and 5 May 2021 there were more than 160 cases of VITT out of a total of 30.8 million doses of the AstraZeneca vaccine administered in the UK.

But UK Parliament has stated: “The overall risk of VITT following a dose of the University of Oxford/AstraZeneca vaccine is 10.9 per million doses.

“This varies according to age groups and it is estimated to be around 1 in 100,000 for people over 50 and 1 in 50,000 for people aged between 18 and 49 years.

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“Following an age-based risk-benefit analysis, the Joint Committee on Vaccination and Immunisation (JCVI) concluded that people aged under 40 should be offered an alternative to the University of Oxford/AstraZeneca COVID-19 vaccine.”

Like the Pfizer vaccine, the Moderna vaccine, which is also currently deployed in the UK, hasn’t been associated with VITT.

VITT cases have been reported following vaccination with the Johnson & Johnson vaccine – a vaccine which uses the same technology as the AstraZeneca one.

But this vaccine has yet to be approved for use in the UK.

The UK government advises: “Some people have reported a sudden feeling of cold with shivering/shaking accompanied by a rise in temperature, possibly with sweating, headache (including migraine-like headaches), nausea, muscle aches and feeling unwell, starting within a day of having the vaccine and usually lasting for a day or two.

“If your fever is high and lasts longer than three days, or you have other persistent symptoms, this might not be due to side effects of the vaccine and you should seek appropriate medical advice according to your symptoms.”

If you get any side effects you should talk to your doctor, pharmacist or nurse.

If you’re concerned about a side-effect it can be reported directly via the Coronavirus Yellow Card reporting site or search for MHRA Yellow Card in Google Play.

Don’t report the same side effects to both systems to avoid dual reporting.

Although serious side effects are very rare, if you experience any of the following from around 4 days to 4 weeks after vaccination you should seek medical advice urgently:

  • a new, severe headache which is not helped by usual painkillers or is getting worse
  • a headache which seems worse when lying down or bending over
  • an unusual headache that may be accompanied by:
  • blurred vision, nausea and vomiting
  • difficulty with your speech
  • weakness, drowsiness or seizures
  • new, unexplained pinprick bruising or bleeding
  • shortness of breath, chest pain, leg swelling or persistent abdominal pain

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This post originally appeared on Daily Express :: Health Feed
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How do you know if you have a blood clot? What blood clots look and feel like

“To date and overall, just over 10 people develop this condition for every million doses of AstraZeneca vaccine given,” reports Public Health England (PHE).

According to PHE, this is seen more often in younger people and tends to occur between four days and four weeks following vaccination.

It is important to note that similar conditions can also occur naturally, and clotting problems are a common complication of coronavirus (COVID-19) infection.

An increased risk has not yet been seen after other COVID-19 vaccines in the UK.

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This post originally appeared on Daily Express :: Life and Style Feed
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AstraZeneca vaccine side effects: Six signs warning you may be at risk of a blood clot

The AstraZeneca vaccine has raised concerns due to its links to blood clots. People in their 30s are now being invited in many areas of the UK to get their vaccine but are being offered an alternative to the AstraZeneca vaccine if they don’t have an underlying health condition. For those who are receiving the AstraZeneca vaccine what six warning signs could indicate you may be at risk of blood clots?

Blood clots are relatively common and are caused by proteins and platelets clumping together in the blood vessels.

They usually develop in the legs or arms, but they can form almost anywhere in the bay, including around the heart, brain or lungs.

Left untreated, the clot may make its way into the lungs, which can be very serious. This is known as a pulmonary embolism.

It’s, therefore, absolutely essential that you seek medical attention if you think that you have a blood clot.

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Up to 5 May there were 262 reports of people developing rare blood clots which were linked to low platelet levels after receiving a first dose of the Oxford/ AstraZeneca vaccine in the UK, said the British Heart Foundation.

The health site continued: “Blood clots after the vaccine are rare.

“These 262 cases of blood clots are after 30 million doses of the vaccine. Of the 262 people who developed blood clots, 51 died.

“The MHRA has said that while there is stronger evidence of a link between the vaccine and the blood clots, more research is needed.”

The European Medicines Agency (EMA) listed the signs warning you may be at risk of blood clots which include:

  • Shortness of breath
  • Chest pain
  • Swelling in your leg
  • Persistent abdominal (belly) pain
  • Neurological symptoms, including severe and persistent headaches or blurred vision
  • Tiny blood spots under the skin beyond the site of injection

According to the EMA’s findings most of the clots reported occurred in women under the age of 60 within two weeks of vaccination.

There was no increased risk observed among older individuals who received the vaccine.

Because of this, some countries have decided to restrict use of the vaccine in younger individuals.

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This post originally appeared on Daily Express :: Health Feed
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AstraZeneca vaccine: Am I more at risk of a blood clot following second jab? – JCVI advice

Canada announced on Tuesday that it would be halting the rollout of first doses of the AstraZeneca coronavirus vaccine due to increasing evidence of blood clots in vaccine recipients. Several countries have taken a similar policy u-turn in light of concerning reports. With millions of people across the UK expecting their second shot of the vaccine, how jittery should they be?
According to the latest figures released by Public Health England (PHE), the risk of developing a blood clot following vaccination remains infinitesimal.

Based on reports to 28 April 2021, the overall incidence following the AstraZeneca vaccine is around 10.5 per million first doses administered.

The condition is also known to occur naturally and is thought to be extremely rare.

It is also important to note that thromboses (blood clots) have been reported with natural COVID-19 infection and more than a fifth of hospitalised patients with COVID-19 have evidence of blood clots, notes the PHE.

READ MORE: Covid AstraZeneca: New evidence shows even ‘stronger’ link with brain blood clots

Does my risk of blood clots increase the second time around?

As of 28 April 2021, of the 242 suspected cases reported to the Medicines and Healthcare products Regulatory Agency (MHRA) following the AstraZeneca vaccine, only a very small number of cases have been reported after the second dose.

The Joint Committee on Vaccination and Immunisation (JCVI) – the group advising the government on the rollout – concluded that there continue to be no safety concerns following the second dose of vaccine.

Whilst currently there is no evidence to suggest whether these rare events are dose specific, it is important to note that most vaccines in the UK COVID-19 programme have been administered as first doses.

The JCVI advises that those who have received their first dose of AstraZeneca vaccine should continue to be offered the second dose unless they have developed this specific syndrome of thrombosis and thrombocytopenia following the first dose or have had an anaphylactic reaction.

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JCVI considers that there continue to be no safety concerns for this extremely rare adverse event following receipt of a second dose of AstraZeneca vaccine.

All those who have received a first dose of the AZ vaccine should continue to be offered a second dose of AZ vaccine, irrespective of age, the health body says.

The second dose will be important for longer lasting protection against COVID-19.

However, people under a certain age are being advised to seek an alternative vaccine if they haven’t already received their first shot.

In England, the COVID-19 vaccine is being offered in some hospitals and pharmacies, at local centres run by GPs and at larger vaccination centres. More centres are opening all the time.

It’s being given to:

  • People aged 40 and over
  • People who will turn 40 before 1 July 2021
  • People at high risk from COVID-19 (clinically extremely vulnerable)
  • People who live or work in care homes
  • Health and social care workers
  • People with a condition that puts them at higher risk (clinically vulnerable)
  • People with a learning disability
  • People who are a main carer for someone at high risk from COVID-19.

The order in which people will be offered the vaccine is based on advice from the JCVI.

The NHS will let you know when it’s your turn to have the COVID-19 vaccine.

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This post originally appeared on Daily Express :: Health Feed
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Johnson & Johnson vaccine meeting: Blood clot cases up to 15, with 3 deaths

Author CNNWire

This post originally appeared on ABC13 RSS Feed

Johnson & Johnson vaccine meeting

WASHINGTON — Vaccine advisers to the US Centers for Disease Control and Prevention are meeting Friday to discuss how to move forward with Johnson & Johnson’s Janssen coronavirus vaccine.

There are now 15 confirmed reports of blood clots with low platelet counts following the Johnson & Johnson vaccine, with a dozen of the clots occurring in veins near the surface of the brain, a condition called “cerebral venous sinus thrombosis,” according to the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention.

The number of these rare reactions is more than double of the six cases initially reported that prompted federal regulators to recommend a temporary suspension. The 15 cases are out of the nearly 8 million J&J shots given.

Dr. Tom Shimabukuro, a member of the CDC’s task force on COVID-19 vaccines, told the panel that all of the 15 cases were women. Most of them were in their 30s, although the age range was 18-59. Three of the women died.

Dr. Michael Streiff, an expert with the Johns Hopkins University School of Medicine, said he thinks outcomes could be improved if people are aware and seek help right away.

Many of the women tried to treat their symptoms at home for several days, unaware of the severity of the situation.

Streiff said it’s also clear that doctors shouldn’t treat the condition with heparin, a common used blood thinner, and can treat the complications with alternative therapies.

“I think with education we can improve outcomes of these patients,” Steiff said.

The Advisory Committee on Immunization Practices is expected to vote later on updated recommendations for use of the vaccine.

The blood clotting disorder is characterized by a rare type of blood clot in the brain — and possibly other large blood clots — along with a low number of blood-clotting cells called platelets. Some blood specialists have said they believe it’s caused by an unusual immune reaction that targets platelets, causing them to glob together into clots.

“We are very much encouraged by the fact that our safety reporting systems are working,” Dr. Shimi Sharief, senior health adviser with Oregon’s health authority, told reporters in a briefing.

She noted the coronavirus pandemic is ongoing and killing people.

“This is still extremely rare,” she said — noting that seven cases of blood clots had been reported out of nearly seven million J&J vaccines given, and two of those cases had been fatal.
ACIP will also hear from two officials of Johnson & Johnson.
Members of ACIP will consider the potential risks of the vaccine as opposed to the risk of catching coronavirus. Blood clot specialists have told CNN the risk of developing blood clots of all sorts from coronavirus infection are much higher than the risks seen in people who got the vaccine.

AstraZeneca’s vaccine has been linked to TTS as well. The World Health Organization and European medical regulators have said the benefits of the AstraZeneca vaccine, which is not yet authorized in the US, outweigh any potential risks.

Earlier this week, Dr. William Schaffner, a non-voting ACIP member and infectious diseases professor at the Vanderbilt University School of Medicine, told CNN that ACIP could recommend that use of the vaccine resume with no changes, or the committee could recommend that the US stop using the J&J vaccine altogether.

Schaffner said it’s more likely that ACIP will recommend that use of the vaccine resume with a warning about possible adverse effects — and potentially, advice to the highest-risk populations to steer clear of this vaccine altogether.

Covid vaccine: EMA shares 'plausible explanation' for blood clot links – are you at risk?

Author
This post originally appeared on Daily Express :: Health Feed

As the Journal article explains, early reports suggested that relatively young women who received the vaccines were most likely to experience clots, but the EMA reported last week that it could not identify any particularly high-risk groups from its data on the AstraZeneca vaccine.

The apparent bias towards women could be the result of many countries prioritising vaccination for health-care workers, who are predominantly female.

Nonetheless, identifying the possible risk risk factors could allow regulators to better determine the risk of the vaccine relative to the risks of COVID-19, which vary with age and other factors, notes the Nature article.

How to respond to blood clot concerns

Call 111 immediately if you get any of these symptoms associated with blood clotting following vaccination.

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What does it feel like when you have a blood clot? The dangerous warning signs

The most common place for a blood clot to occur is your lower leg or arm, but clots can also be found in the arms, heart, pelvis, lungs, brain, abdomen, and other areas of the body.

Cerebral venous sinus thrombosis (CVST) is the clot linked to the AstraZeneca vaccine, and this type of blood clot occurs in the cerebral venous sinus in the brain.

These sinuses are responsible for draining blood from the brain, and if a blood clot occurs, the sinuses can’t filter the blood out.

The other clots found in people vaccinated with the AstraZeneca jab are called splanchnic vein thrombosis, which is a clot in the veins of the abdomen.

This article originally appeared on Daily Express :: Health Feed
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Cerebral Venous Sinus Thrombosis symptoms: What are the warning signs of the blood clot?

What is CVST, and how do you know if you are experiencing it?

Cerebral venous sinus thrombosis occurs when a blood clot forms in the brain’s venous sinuses.

It is a rare form of stroke that scientists would only expect to see in about five people per million yearly.

The dural venous sinuses are responsible for draining blood from the brain, and if a blood clot is present in the sinuses, blood won’t be drained out.

Normally, 85 percent of people who develop CVST have at least one of a range of risk factors from Thrombophilia, pregnancy, some blood disorders, cancer, obesity, meningitis, a chronic inflammatory disease, or a list of other conditions.

However, it is now thought that the AstraZeneca vaccine could be connected to more recent cases of CVST and deaths linked to it.

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AstraZeneca blood clot: Dr Amir Khan warns of blood clot symptoms to spot after jab

The UK’s Oxford-AstraZeneca vaccine trial in children has been halted amid fears the vaccine causes blood clotting in younger people. Naturally, many people receiving the vaccine will be on high alert. Speaking on GMB this morning, Dr Amir Khan shared the warning signs of blood clots. As he explained, the threshold for concern is if symptoms persist for more than four days.
Experiencing symptoms before this time may be attributable to common vaccine effects, he explained.

However, if you experience a headache for more than four days, this may spell the warning sign of a blood clot, Dr Khan said.

Likewise, experiencing blurred vision and nausea for more than four days could also signal blood clots, he warned.

Other blood clot symptoms include:

  • Throbbing or cramping pain, swelling, redness and warmth in a leg or arm
  • Sudden breathlessness, sharp chest pain (may be worse when you breathe in) and a cough or coughing up blood.

READ MORE: AstraZeneca Covid vaccine: Are children at risk of blood clots as child jabs trial halted?

Data released by the UK’s drug authority (MHRA) on Friday showed 22 cases of cerebral venous sinus thrombosis (CVST) which is a type of blood clot in the brain.

These were accompanied by low levels of platelets, which help form blood clots, in the body.

The MHRA also found other clotting problems alongside low platelet levels in eight people.

The UK’s regulatory body urges people to still get their vaccination when called to do so.

Dr June Raine, the chief executive of the MHRA, said: “The benefits… in preventing COVID-19 infection and its complications continue to outweigh any risks and the public should continue to get their vaccine when invited to do so.”

Investigations are under way to determine if the AstraZeneca vaccine is causing the very rare blood clots.

Earlier this week the European Medicines Agency said it was “not proven, but is possible”.

Am I eligible to receive a coronavirus vaccine?

The NHS is currently offering the COVID-19 vaccine to people most at risk from coronavirus.

In England, the vaccine is being offered in some hospitals and pharmacies, at local centres run by GPs and at larger vaccination centres. More centres are opening all the time.

Everyone aged 50 and over can get the COVID-19 vaccine.

You can book appointments at a larger vaccination centre or pharmacy now, or wait to be invited to go to a local NHS service.

The order in which people will be offered the vaccine is based on advice from the Joint Committee on Vaccination and Immunisation (JCVI).

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