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Recent breakthrough studies by Oxford scientists have revealed findings of deadly blood clots in some adults who have received their Covid-19 vaccinations. Researchers at the Oxford University Hospitals NHS Foundation Trust said this backs earlier reports of vaccine-induced thrombocytopenia (VITT) that can lead to abnormal blood clot formation, swelling as well as bleeding in the brain.

According to the New England Journal of Medicine, thrombocytopenia is a condition that causes patients to have low count of platelets, which help the blood clot. Thrombosis occurs in people when these blood clots are formed in veins or arteries which is a major cause of strokes and heart attacks.

Although researchers say this is a rare occurrence, the adverse side effect from AstraZeneca has been recorded to affect just one in 50,000 of people under the age of 50. The study has reported a 23% fatality rate from VITT and experts have claimed it to be deadlier than other types of clotting disorders.

During the period covered by the research, 24.8 million Britons had already received their first AstraZeneca jab and 23.6 million were fully-vaccinated. Data provided by UK regulators showed 411 cases of VITT after the first AstraZeneca jab and 43 reported cases after the second dose.

Consultant haematologist Dr. Sue Pavord said that if one has not developed VITT after their first dose, the risk of getting VITT after the second and third dose would be relatively small. The 8 to 12 week time frame between doses allows for a significantly lower risk of thrombosis.

“It can be devastating: it often affects young, otherwise healthy vaccine recipients and has high mortality,” Pavord said. She added: “It is particularly dangerous when the patient has a low platelet count and bleeding in the brain." At this time, no clots have been reported as data shows no one has been receiving jabs from AstraZeneca anymore.

Treatment for VITT would involve intravenous administration of immunoglobulins to increase platelet count, as well as steroids to dampen the immune system along with blood thinners that help prevent further blood clots. Those with severe cases can be treated with a plasma exchange, which can dramatically increase survival chances.

Meanwhile, UK health chiefs are now promptly recommending all individuals under the age of 40 to get the Pfizer or Moderna jabs.

One of the study authors, Professor Michael Makris, a thrombosis expert at University of Sheffield said their team are all strong advocates of the vaccination. “We are not here to say anything bad about AstraZeneca, it is a matter of targeting it.”

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