Now Oxford vaccine is linked to strokes

Now Oxford vaccine is linked to strokes: One patient dies and two are hospitalised after receiving Covid jab as doctors are warned to look out for indications of brain-damaging clots

  • This is first time Oxford/AstraZeneca jab has been linked to ischaemic strokes
  • It occurs when blood clots form and block flow of blood and oxygen to the brain
  • Specialists from UCL said that vaccine-linked incidences were incredibly rare 
  • They told doctors to look out for symptoms in those who had jab 4-28 days later

Doctors are being told to look out for signs of a stroke following the Oxford jab after three patients were admitted to hospital and one died.

Two women in their 30s and a man in his 40s suffered clots in their arteries after recently having the vaccine, which led to ischaemic strokes.

While previous reports of rare blood clots have specifically involved cerebral venous thrombosis – veins in the brain – this is the first time the Oxford/AstraZeneca vaccine has been linked to ischaemic strokes.

It is the most common type of stroke and occurs when blood clots form and block the flow of blood and oxygen to the brain.

Doctors are being told to look out for signs of a stroke following the Oxford jab after three patients were admitted to hospital and one died (pictured: a care worker receives the Oxford/AstraZeneca vaccine in Borehamwood on February 15)

Ischaemic strokes are the most common type of stroke and occur when blood clots form and block the flow of blood and oxygen to the brain (file photo)

Specialists from the National Hospital for Neurology and Neurosurgery at University College London (UCL) said vaccine-linked incidences were incredibly rare and far more likely to happen in people who catch Covid-19.

Nevertheless, they urged doctors to be on the lookout for classic stroke symptoms in anyone who had the jab between four and 28 days later. 

Minister: Testing may help us ditch need to quarantine

By Jason Groves, Political Editor for the Daily Mail

Fully vaccinated people could avoid quarantining if they come into contact with a Covid sufferer by taking regular tests, a minister suggested yesterday.

But MPs were told that, even after two jabs, people will still have to take action.

Earlier reports claimed the fully vaccinated will still have to self-isolate for ten days, or face fines which start at £1,000.

Vaccines minister Nadhim Zahawi said jabs don’t stop some people catching and spreading the virus, even if they don’t get seriously ill themselves.

Mr Zahawi said no final decision had been made on keeping this rule in place after June 21 when all remaining restrictions are due to be lifted.

He told MPs: ‘Even if you’ve had two doses of either vaccine you can still actually contract Covid and therefore you should be isolating and quarantining. We’re also looking at ways that contacts of people who may have contracted Covid can be regularly tested instead of isolating.’

The suggestion that self-isolation rules could remain in place indefinitely sparked a backlash.

Mark Harper, chairman of the Covid Recovery Group of Tory MPs, said: ‘Post-June 21, it’s important not only that legal restrictions go, but all of the remaining rules are adjusted to reflect the much lower risk that exists once we’ve vaccinated the population.’

Any such patients should be ‘urgently evaluated’ for a very rare syndrome called vaccine-induced thrombosis and thrombocytopenia (VITT), they said, adding that rapid diagnosis is essential.

The first of the three patients to suffer an ischaemic stroke – a 35-year-old Asian woman who later died – experienced an intermittent headache on the right side and around her eyes six days after having her vaccine.

Five days later, she awoke feeling drowsy and with weakness to her face, arm and leg. 

She underwent brain surgery to reduce pressure in her skull alongside other treatments, but these could not save her life. 

The second patient, a white woman aged 37, suffered headache, confusion, weakness in her left arm and loss of vision on the left side 12 days after her vaccine. She had several treatments and survived.

The third patient, an Asian man aged 43, was admitted to hospital three weeks after receiving his vaccination with problems speaking and understanding language. 

He received a platelet and plasma transfusion plus other treatment and remains stable.

David Werring, professor of clinical neurology at UCL and lead author of the report, said: ‘Although cerebral venous thrombosis – an uncommon stroke type in clinical practice – is now recognised as being the most frequent presentation of VITT, our study shows that the much more common ischaemic stroke… may also be a presenting feature of vaccine-induced thrombosis.

‘Of course, both types of thrombosis remain extremely rare, but doctors need to be vigilant if patients present with typical stroke symptoms [such as] face, arm or leg weakness, or impaired speech – due to a blocked artery any time between days four and 28 post vaccination.’

There have been 309 cases of major thrombosis with low platelet count suggesting VITT from more than 30million doses of the AstraZeneca vaccine administered.

It means the chances of a blood clot from VITT after a Covid-19 vaccine is extremely low at about one per 100,000 doses.

There have been 309 cases of major thrombosis with low platelet count suggesting VITT from more than 30million doses of the AstraZeneca vaccine administered (file photo showing medical worker preparing a dose of the Oxford/AstraZeneca vaccine)

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