AstraZeneca Withdraws COVID-19 Vaccine Due to ‘Commercial Reasons’

JNS: AstraZeneca, the manufacturer of the Covishield COVID-19 vaccine, has announced its decision to withdraw the vaccine from circulation, citing “commercial reasons.”

The company stated that the vaccine is no longer being produced or distributed. This decision was influenced by the availability of newer vaccines specifically targeting COVID-19 variants, leading to a reduced demand for the AstraZeneca vaccine. The Guardian reported on this development.

AstraZeneca highlighted the significant impact of its vaccine, with independent estimates suggesting that over 6.5 million lives were saved in the first year of use alone, and more than 3 billion doses were supplied globally. The company expressed its commitment to working with regulators and partners to conclude this chapter of its contribution to the pandemic.

In India, the AstraZeneca vaccine was widely known as Covishield and was manufactured by the Serum Institute of India, based on a collaboration between AstraZeneca and Oxford University.

This decision comes shortly after AstraZeneca confirmed in court documents that its COVID-19 vaccine can lead to a rare side effect known as thrombosis with thrombocytopenia syndrome (TTS). This revelation has been accompanied by a class-action lawsuit, with victims and their families seeking up to GBP 100 million (USD 124.8 million) in damages, as reported by UNI news agency.

The lawsuit, initiated by Jamie Scott, a father of two, who suffered a permanent brain injury after developing a blood clot and brain bleed following his vaccination in April 2021, has intensified, with 51 cases now lodged in the High Court. This legal battle highlights the challenges of balancing public health concerns with vaccination risks.

Thrombocytopenia, a condition characterized by a low blood platelet count, can lead to bleeding issues. Platelets are colorless blood cells that aid in blood clotting and stop bleeding by forming clots in blood vessel injuries, as explained by the Mayo Clinic website.

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