People over 50 weighing the benefits of receiving the AstraZeneca vaccine There have been reports of blood clots following exposure to the AstraZeneca vaccine This is a relief, blood clots after the AstraZeneca vaccine are very rare Melbourne
With the COVID-19 pandemic spreading again, people over 50 are weighing the benefits of getting vaccinated against the virus from the AstraZeneca vaccine with the rare risk of blood clots. The coagulation disease, called vaccine-induced thrombotic thrombocytopenia (VITT) or thrombosis with thrombocytopenia syndrome (TTS), has been reported since the first reports of blood clots following exposure to the AstraZeneca vaccine in March 2021. Our understanding increased.
We now know how to diagnose and treat it, so we are likely to see better outcomes for patients with the disease. How common and deadly is this? It is a relief, blood clots after the AstraZeneca vaccine are very rare. So far, 2.1 million doses of AstraZeneca vaccine have been administered in Australia, of which 24 cases of TTS have been reported. The risk of TTS is therefore approximately one in 88,000. These figures are similar to those collected in the UK, Europe, the Middle East and Canada in this regard.
What exactly is blood clotting?
Although the first reports from Europe indicated that around 20 percent of TTS cases are fatal, in Australia to date one in 24 TTS cases has been fatal. What exactly is blood clotting with thrombocytopenia syndrome (platelet count)? Although we don’t have a full explanation yet, it appears that the AstraZeneca vaccine can activate platelets, which are small cells in our blood and are important for blood clotting that stops bleeding. In some people, these activated platelets can release a protein, called platelet factor 4 (PF4), which binds to the AstraZeneca vaccine.
It is believed that PF4 may cause the immune system to activate more platelets, causing them to clump together and thereby reduce their number. This action is quite different from the normal process by which blood clots are formed. Although TTS appears to be the result of an irregular immune response, existing evidence suggests that people who have had a heart attack, stroke, clot in the lungs, or who take blood-thinning medications regularly do not. increased risk of STT.
Diagnostic tests and guidelines play a major role in identifying and treating cases of TTS. In most cases, patients have low platelet counts, blood clotting, and antibodies to PF4. Many of these tests can be done early. Treatment can now begin immediately, with anticoagulant drugs and drugs that suppress the immune system. As of May 20, when the last vaccine safety report was released, 21 of 24 Australians with TTS had been cured and discharged from hospital and two were stable and recovering in hospital.
It is quite normal to have side effects after any vaccine.
So what are the common side effects and what could indicate clotting? It is quite normal to have side effects after any vaccine. In the case of the AstraZeneca vaccine, these occur within the first two days after vaccination and include headache, fever (chills), muscle and joint pain, nausea, fatigue, site pain injection, which are relieved by simple measures such as paracetamol. Likewise, symptoms that may indicate TTS after receiving the AstraZeneca vaccine include: persistent or severe headache, blurred or double vision, difficulty breathing, severe pain in the abdomen, back or chest , swelling, redness, leg pain, unusual bleeding or bruising.
If you experience any of these symptoms four to 30 days after your vaccination, see a doctor immediately. Balancing the Risks and Benefits The risks of TTS are very rare, some people will have concerns and will want to discuss them with their doctor. However, given the continuing risk of COVID outbreaks in Australia and their potentially fatal consequences, as well as its potentially serious long-term effects, for most people, the benefits of COVID vaccination far outweigh. potential risks.
Authors: Karlheinz Peter, Baker Heart and Diabetes Institute and James McFadden, Baker Heart and Diabetes Institute
AstraZeneca vaccine increases risk of blood clotting