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The world’s most-administered coronavirus shot is facing what may be its biggest challenge yet. 

On Wednesday, European regulatory authorities said potentially fatal blood clots are indeed a rare side effect of AstraZeneca’s vaccine. Following the announcement, the UK’s regulator said people under 30 years old should seek out other shots, if available. 

AstraZeneca’s vaccine has already been rolled out to tens of millions of people around the world. In interviews with Insider, five medical experts emphasized that the shot is safe and effective.

“The risk of dying in an air crash is just astronomically higher than the risk of clotting after the vaccine dose, and yet we all get on a plane without a second thought,” Johan Bester, director of bioethics at the University of Nevada, Las Vegas School of Medicine, told Insider.

Wednesday’s announcement came after European medical officials reviewed fewer than 100 blood-clotting cases reported among more than 25 million people in the EU who’ve gotten AstraZeneca’s shot. That’s a rate of roughly 4.6 clot cases per 1 million shots — higher than expected, the review found, but still extraordinarily rare. 

Given that, experts are more concerned about the consequences of public suspicion of the shot.

“All that people heard was: AstraZeneca’s vaccine can kill you because of blood clots,” Art Caplan, a bioethicist at New York University, told Insider, referring to the Wednesday announcement. “They’re not watching the fine tuning and the careful recommendations.”

Countries that have authorized the vaccine, he added, are now going to have to deal “with a very huge explosion of vaccine skepticism.”

A non-issue? A blip?

The World Health Organization also issued a note of caution on Wednesday, acknowledging that a relationship between blood clots and the vaccine is “considered plausible but is not confirmed.”

AstraZeneca, meanwhile, said these are “extremely rare events” that have occurred on …read more

Source:: Business Insider


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