What is thrombocytopenia, the rare blood condition possibly linked to the AstraZeneca vaccine?

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Sumary of What is thrombocytopenia, the rare blood condition possibly linked to the AstraZeneca vaccine?:

  • The federal government has asked Australia medical and vaccine regulators to urgently consider the European Medicines Agency finding of a possible link between the Oxford/AstraZeneca COVID vaccine and rare blood clots..
  • This follows reports over recent weeks of blood clots in a small number of people around the world who had received the AstraZeneca vaccine, including one man who was hospitalised in Melbourne..
  • But what does this actually mean, how significant is the risk, and what are the implications for Australia vaccine rollout — which is currently relying predominantly on the AstraZeneca jab?.
  • The condition has a genetic component, but can also arise from more than 300 common medicines, including penicillin and certain pain killers..
  • The European Medicines Agency said it had received reports of 169 cases of brain blood clots in people who had been vaccinated with the AstraZeneca shot..
  • There have been deaths from blood clots reportedly associated with the AstraZeneca vaccine, including 19 in the United Kingdom..
  • Platelets and COVID-19 The AstraZeneca vaccine prompts cells to make a specific part of SARS-CoV-2 (the virus that causes COVID-19), called the spike protein, which the virus uses to attach to cells when infecting us..
  • The vaccine stimulates our immune system to generate antibodies against the spike protein, which then primes the body to mount an immune response against SARS-CoV-2, if it encounters the virus in the future..
  • But in some people, the AstraZeneca vaccine seems to produce antibodies that react with platelets, making them stick together, leading the blood to clot..
  • Keeping in mind we’re yet to establish cause and effect, it a possibility that the biological mechanism by which we believe heparin leads to thrombocytopenia could be the same biological mechanism by which the AstraZeneca vaccine might..
  • As for the suspected vaccine-induced kind, according to data collated by the Thrombosis and Haemostasis Society of Australia and New Zealand, VIPIT is as rare as one in 500,000 people…

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