The COVID-19 vaccine jointly developed by AstraZeneca and Oxford University has been associated with a spate of blood clot cases in Europe. A number of European nations, including Germany, France, the Netherlands, Italy, Canada, Denmark and Ireland, temporarily suspended administering the shot due to concerns about possible side effects. Responding to the news, a Taiwanese pediatric emergency doctor has recommended seeking immediate medical treatment if anyone experiences the following symptoms between four and 20 days after receiving the vaccine: rapid breathing, chest pain, paleness of the legs and feet, reduced blood circulation, persistent abdominal pain, headaches, blurred vision or bruising.
Wu Chang-teng, a pediatric emergency resident doctor at Linkou Chang Gung Memorial Hospital, in a post on Facebook, addressed recent reports of “rare” cases of severe blood clots in Europe in individuals who had taken the AstraZeneca vaccine, including cases of cerebral venous sinus thrombosis associated with thrombocytopenia. To date, most of the cases identified are women under 55 years of age. However, there are also reports of male cases, and most of them have occured between four to 16 days after vaccination was administered, said Wu.
Wu explained that the condition is being termed as “vaccine-induced prothrombotic immune thrombocytopenia,” or VIPIT for short. Wu added that this is because VIPIT is associated with the production of antibodies that can activate platelets which stimulate the formation of blood clots, leading to thrombocytopenia. Wu said that the process is similar to heparin-induced thrombocytopenia (HIT), but the exact mechanism that triggers VIPIT is still being studied.
Photo: Liao Chen-huei, Liberty Times
Wu emphasized that medical professionals are still waiting for confirmation of the precise incidence of adverse reactions to the vaccination. According to data provided by the European Medicines Agency on March 18, it was initially estimated that one per million people who took the AstraZeneca vaccine had experienced VIPIT. However, Germany’s Paul-Ehrlich Institut has reported that the incidence is much higher and is in fact one per 100,000 people.
(Liberty Times, translated by Edward Jones)
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