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AstraZeneca, makers of Covishield, accepts link to Thrombosis with Thrombocytopenia Syndrome

Covishield, the most widely administered Covid-19 vaccine in , has been linked to a very rare but serious medical condition known as Thrombosis with Thrombocytopenia Syndrome or TTS according to its manufacturer AstraZeneca. While acknowledging the potential risk, experts emphasize that the chances are exceedingly low and the benefits of getting vaccinated vastly outweigh any potential side effects.

TTS is characterized by low platelet counts and abnormal blood clotting in the body. Concerns around TTS emerging post vaccination with AstraZeneca's formula, which was brought to India as Covishield through the Serum Institute, first surfaced last year when some European nations briefly paused its usage. months after vaccination rollout began worldwide in early 2021.

In a recent court case in the UK, AstraZeneca conceded that TTS could theoretically occur in an extremely small number of cases following immunization. They estimated the risk at around 4 per million vaccinated individuals in the UK and slightly higher in the European Union. Local health authorities had also reported around two dozen suspected cases of clotting disorders among millions administered Covishield doses in India during initial months of the vaccination drive.

While experts say more research is still needed to fully elucidate the biological mechanism, vaccine-induced immune thrombotic thrombocytopenia or VITT is now recognized by global health agencies like the WHO as the clinical syndrome encompassing TTS cases in rare instances post inoculation. symptoms may include breathlessness, chest pain, headaches and abnormal bleeding. Prompt medical care including platelet transfusions and blood thinning medications can effectively treat most patients.

It is worth noting that people are many times more likely to develop blood clots from a Covid-19 infection than from vaccination. With over 1.7 billion doses supplied globally, the AstraZeneca shot continues to play a critical role in protecting lives even as awareness around this one in a million side effect has been steadily growing. While remaining vigilant, there is no cause for undue panic or hesitation towards getting fully vaccinated according to medical experts.

The Northlines is an independent source on the Web for news, facts and figures relating to Jammu, Kashmir and Ladakh and its neighbourhood.

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