AstraZeneca withdraw COVID-19 Vaccine Globally, Citing Rare Side Effect and Commercial Reasons

AstraZeneca Withdraw COVID-19 Vaccine Globally, Citing Rare Side Effect and Commercial Reasons

AstraZeneca, a major pharmaceutical company, is globally withdrawing its COVID-19 vaccine following its acknowledgment in court documents that it can lead to a rare and risky side effect, as reported by ‘The Telegraph’.

AstraZeneca stated that the vaccine’s withdrawal from the market was due to commercial considerations. Additionally, they noted that the vaccine is no longer in production or distribution, as newer vaccines targeting emerging variants have taken precedence.

AstraZeneca withdraw COVID-19 Vaccine Globally
AstraZeneca Vaccine Representation


AstraZeneca Withdraw COVID-19 Vaccine Globally  as Rare Side Effects Prompt Scrutiny

The request to withdraw the vaccine was submitted on March 5 and became effective on May 7. As a result of the company’s decision to revoke its “marketing authorisation,” the vaccine is now prohibited for use in the European Union. Similar requests will be made in the UK and other countries in the following months where the vaccine, known as Vaxzevria, has been authorized for use.

In recent times, there has been increased scrutiny on Vaxzevria due to an exceptionally uncommon side effect resulting in blood clots and reduced blood platelet levels. AstraZeneca acknowledged in court documents presented in February in the High Court that the vaccine can, in extremely rare instances, lead to Thrombosis with Thrombocytopenia Syndrome (TTS).

Thrombosis with Thrombocytopenia Syndrome (TTS) has been linked to a minimum of 81 deaths in the UK, alongside hundreds of severe injuries. Over 50 individuals who claim to have been affected, as well as bereaved relatives, have filed a lawsuit against AstraZeneca in a case brought before the High Court.

According to The Telegraph report, AstraZeneca has maintained that the decision to withdraw the vaccine is not connected to the ongoing case or their acknowledgment of the potential for TTS. They described the timing as purely coincidental.

According to The Telegraph, AstraZeneca stated “We are incredibly proud of the role Vaxzevria played in ending the global pandemic. According to independent estimates, over 6.5 million lives were saved in the first year of use alone and over three billion doses were supplied globally. Our efforts have been recognised by governments around the world and are widely regarded as being a critical component of ending the global pandemic,”

As reported by The Telegraph, the pharmaceutical giant said, “As multiple, variant COVID-19 vaccines have since been developed, there is a surplus of available updated vaccines”, adding that it has led to a decline in demand for Vaxzevria, which is no longer being manufactured or supplied.

The company additionally declared its intention to commence the withdrawal process of marketing authorizations for Vaxzevria within Europe. They stated, “We will collaborate with regulators and our partners to establish a clear roadmap to wrap up this phase and our substantial contribution to combating the COVID-19 pandemic.”

AstraZeneca reaffirmed its dedication to ensuring patient safety and underscored the vaccine’s comprehensive safety record last week.

An AstraZeneca spokesperson had stated, “Our sympathy goes out to anyone who has lost loved ones or reported health problems. Patient safety is our highest priority, and regulatory authorities have clear and stringent standards to ensure the safe use of all medicines, including vaccines.”

Following AstraZeneca’s acknowledgment that its COVID vaccines Covishield and Vaxzevria can, in exceptional instances, lead to Thrombosis Thrombocytopenia Syndrome (TTS), the company reiterated that robust clinical trial data and real-world evidence consistently confirm the vaccine’s safety and effectiveness.

Despite these rare occurrences, regulatory bodies globally maintain that the advantages of vaccination outweigh the risks posed by such exceedingly uncommon side effects.

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