Scientists have identified a possible reason for blood clot complications from the AstraZeneca Covid-19 vaccine after use of the shot was limited globally to prevent the rare side effect.
According to a team of researchers from Cardiff and the US, the interaction between the vaccine and a protein known as platelet factor four could be behind the cases of thrombosis with thrombocytopenia syndrome.
Researchers said this could spark a chain reaction in the immune system that can lead to the development of blood clots – a condition known as vaccine-induced immune thrombotic thrombocytopenia (VITT).
“We hope our findings can be used to better understand the rare side effects of these new vaccines, and potentially to design new and improved vaccines, to turn the tide on this global pandemic,” Prof Alan Parker from Cardiff University’s School of Medicine said.
Meanwhile, a spokesperson for AstraZeneca said that research is not definitive, but “it offers interesting insights, and AstraZeneca is exploring ways to leverage these findings as part of our efforts to remove this extremely rare side effect.”
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