Oxford Suspends AstraZeneca COVID-19 Vaccine Trial On Children Over Blood Clot
Oxford University announced on Tuesday suspended a trial of the COVID-19 vaccine that it developed with AstraZeneca on children and teenagers following an investigation by the British regulators of a potential blood clot link in adults.
“Whilst there are no safety concerns in the paediatric clinical trial, we await additional information from the MHRA on its review of rare cases of thrombosis/thrombocytopaenia that have been reported in adults, before giving any further vaccinations in the trial,” the university said in a statement.
“Parents and children should continue to attend all scheduled visits and can contact the trial sites if they have any questions.”
The Medicines and Healthcare Regulatory Agency (MHRA) disclosed on Saturday that seven people in the country had died from rare blood clots after getting the shot out of a total of 30 identified cases, while more than 18 million doses were administered in the country.
The British regulator said it was not certain if the shots are causing the clots, as the MHRA chief executive, Dr June Raine added that the benefits outweigh the risk.
“The benefits of COVID-19 vaccine AstraZeneca in preventing COVID-19 infection and its complications continue to outweigh any risks and the public should continue to get their vaccine when invited to do so,” Raine said.
Marco Cavaleri, head of health threats and vaccine strategy at the European Medicines Agency told Rome’s Il Messaggero newspaper on Tuesday that there was an underlying connection between AstraZeneca’s coronavirus vaccine and rare blood clots.
“It is becoming more and more difficult to affirm that there isn’t a cause-and-effect relationship between AstraZeneca vaccines and the very rare cases of blood clots associated with a low level of platelets,” Cavaleri said.
He added it was uncertain what the connection was and that the benefits of taking the jab still outweighed the risks of getting COVID-19.