Some people who got injected with AstraZeneca’s vaccine for COVID had to deal with blood clots. Although the cases remain very rare, scientists were curious to find out exactly what’s triggering those unpleasant side effects.
The BBC reveals that a team of scientists from the USA and Cardiff believe they have finally found the trigger behind the blood clots associated with the Oxford-AstraZeneca vaccine. They’re confident that a protein is attracted to one of the vaccine’s components. The combination is starting a chain reaction that involves the immune system, which further culminates in the emergence of clots.
More research is needed
There’s no use starting to celebrate just yet. More research is still needed, as there’s no complete explanation yet for why the clots occur. An AstraZeneca spokesperson even said that COVID infections are more likely to cause blood clots than the vaccines themselves. She is confident that the new research is very useful, although it’s not definitive. The spokesperson said, as quoted by the BBC:
Although the research is not definitive, it offers interesting insights and AstraZeneca is exploring ways to leverage these findings as part of our efforts to remove this extremely rare side effect.
If it reaches the bloodstream, the vaccine can attract a protein known as platelet factor 4.
Prof Alan Parker, a Cardiff University researcher, declared for BBC News:
The adenovirus has an extremely negative surface, and platelet factor four is extremely positive and the two things fit together quite well.
He also added for the same source:
We’ve been able to prove the link between the key smoking guns of adenoviruses and platelet factor four.
What we have is the trigger, but there’s a lot of steps that have to happen next.
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