The AstraZeneca- Oxford university COVID-19 vaccine has been paused by a number of countries in Europe after reports of blood clotting and Deep Vein Thrombosis in some participants arose. Countries including France Germany, Italy, Spain, Portugal and Norway have put a halt on the rollout of the innoculation programme for now and are examining the cases that have occurred.
While they carry out assessments, the World Health Organisation as well as the European Union’s vaccine regulator have played down the issue for now. They have highlighted two important points. One, there is no indication that the vaccine is linked to an increased risk of blood clots. Two, the number of cases in vaccinated people was no higher than in the general population.
In India, the Serum Institute of India is manufacturing the Oxford-AstraZeneca vaccine as Covishield and 1.5 crore doses have already been administered.
At a time when COVID-19 cases have seen a spike across India and Europe and the vaccination process is underway, a number of key questions have emerged. Why has this become an issue in the EU? Should India, which manufactures the same vaccine, be worried?
The Quint spoke with Dr Rahul Bhargava, Director and Head, Haematology and Bone Marrow Transplant at Fortis Memorial Research Institute, Gurugram