AstraZeneca withdrawing its COVID-19 vaccine in the European Union, similar move in more countries to follow

AstraZeneca is withdrawing its COVID-19 vaccine worldwide just months after admitting it could cause a rare but dangerous side effect.

The application to withdraw the vaccine in the European Union was made on March 5 and took effect on Tuesday, according to Telegraph.

WATCH VIDEO ABOVE: AstraZeneca pulls COVID vaccine from European market.

Similar applications will be made by the company in the next few months in several other countries where the vaccine is approved, such as Australia.

There is a link between the vaccine, known as Vaxzevria, and a rare but serious side effect called thrombosis with thrombocytopenia (TTS).

According to the Australian Department of Health, TTS involves blood clotting with low platelets. Blood clots can occur in parts of the body such as the brain or stomach.

The syndrome can cause long-term disability or death.

Last month, AstraZeneca admitted for the first time in a UK court that its vaccine could cause the side effect.

The company is currently being sued in a class-action lawsuit over allegations that its vaccine has caused several deaths and serious injuries. Telegraph reported.

The first case was filed last year by a father of two who was left with permanent brain injury when he developed a blood clot and hemorrhage in the brain after receiving the vaccine in April 2021.

AstraZeneca said the vaccine was being withdrawn for commercial reasons and that it was no longer manufactured or supplied because there were now better vaccines suitable to deal with new variants.

He said his decision had nothing to do with the lawsuit or his recent admission to TTS.

“Because multiple variants of the COVID-19 vaccines have been developed since then, there is a surplus of updated vaccines available. This has resulted in a drop in demand for Vaxzevria, which is no longer manufactured or supplied,” the company said in a statement.

“Therefore, AstraZeneca has decided to initiate the withdrawal of Vaxzevria’s marketing authorizations in Europe.”

In Australia, AstraZeneca has not been available since March 2023, but when it was in use, almost 14 million doses were administered.

The department calculates the AstraZeneca TTS rate is about two in 100,000 in people over 60, or about two to three in 100,000 in people under 60.

Some cases in Australia were fatal, but the fatality rate was lower than reported internationally.

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