Another potentially dangerous blood condition has been spotted in a handful of patients given the AstraZeneca coronavirus vaccine, the EU’s drug watchdog has announced.
The European Medicines Authority (EMA) said five cases of capillary leak syndrome had been reported in vaccinated patients on the continent.
The rare condition sees blood leak from tiny vessels into muscles and body cavities, resulting in a sudden drop in blood pressure. If left untreated, it can cause organ failure.
Data suggests the UK’s regulator, the MHRA, had spotted three cases of capillary leak syndrome out of 20million people given the AstraZeneca vaccine by late March.
It is another blow for the British-made jab, which has been restricted for certain age groups in various countries around the world, including under-30s in Britain, after reports of rare blood clots in the brain and abdomen.
Officials insisted there is still no evidence the jab causes the blood conditions and stressed the benefits of vaccination far outweighed the risk.
Meanwhile, the EMA revealed it is also reviewing reports of rare clots involving Johnson and Johnson’s Covid vaccine, which uses the same technology as AstraZeneca’s.
Four serious cases of rare blood clots with low platelets were detected in people vaccinated with the jab, one of which died.
In the US, four clinics have had to pause J&J vaccinations, after eight people suffered ‘adverse reactions’ in the latest crisis, coming at a site in Cummings, Georgia.
Officials did not specify what types of reactions the eight people had to the shot, but said they were ‘consistent with common reactions in adults being vaccinated with any vaccine,’ and cited the number of cases as the trigger for the pause.
However, the eight people who had reactions were among 425 people who got the J&J shot at that site and, ostensibly, did not have any noticeable reactions.
The same thing has happened at clinics in three other states this week.
J&J vaccinations have now resumed at a Colorado site that reported 11 people had had bad reactions to the one-dose vaccine and two were taken to hospitals on Wednesday, as well as at a North Carolina site where 18 people had reactions. Four were taken to hospitals.
‘The reactions people experienced today were consistent with known common side effects from receiving the vaccine,’ Wake County officials said in a statement about the adverse reactions at PNC Arena in Raleigh.
Georgia officials said in a statement that there was a similar incident in Iowa, but no details have been released there.
The J&J jab, made by the US-firm’s Belgium arm Janssen, had been earmarked by UK officials for young people because it is given as a single dose.
The vaccine has been approved in the EU and was due to be rolled out in the coming months. It is currently under review by the UK’s medicines watchdog and the UK Government has ordered 30million doses.
The EMA has said that ‘at this stage, it is not yet clear whether there is a causal association’ between either vaccines and the reported conditions.
J&J said that it was aware of the reports of blood clots and is working with regulators to assess the data and provide relevant information.
‘At present, no clear causal relationship has been established between these rare events and the Janssen Covid vaccine,’ the company said in a statement.