The European Medicines Agency (EMA) is taking a closer look at another possible risk with Astra Zeneca’s vaccine Vaxzevria. A few people who received the vaccine later suffered from an unusual condition in which the smallest blood vessels leak.
These leaks – so-called capillary leakage syndrome – usually cause swollen tissues and lowered blood pressure. In the long run, it can cause organ failure and be life-threatening. The five cases have been reported from one or more European countries to the EMA’s database.
It is too early to say whether there is any connection between the vaccine and the capillary leak, emphasizes EMA, which at this stage flags that it is something that needs to be looked at more closely.
Blood clots listed
The authority has previously investigated possible side effects of Vaxzevria and announced earlier this week that it is possible that the vaccine may cause blood clots in combination with low platelet levels. This should now be listed as a “very rare” side effect.
In the EU alone, more than 20 million people have been given Vaxzevria.
Reports of this type of problem have also been received regarding the vaccine from Janssen. It was approved about a month ago, but has not yet started to be given in any EU country. According to the plan, the first syringes will be given at the end of April.
In four cases in other parts of the world, four people who received the Janssen vaccine have suffered from blood clots in combination with low levels of platelets. In three of the cases the vaccine was given in the USA and in one it was as part of a vaccine study. In one of the cases, the affected person died.
Even when the Janssen vaccine was approved, there was information about blood clots that aroused suspicion. The Swedish Medicines Agency then (March 17) spoke of a “small imbalance” in the number of cases of blood clots and that the issue would be followed closely.
Astra Zeneca’s and Janssen’s vaccines are similar, as they use so-called adenovirus vectors.