New data from the Scottish COVID-19 vaccine program has reportedly indicated that the first dose of the Oxford/AstraZeneca vaccine could possibly lead to a small rise in the risk of an easily treatable, and often minor bleeding disorder.
In Scotland, doctors examined medical records of over 5.4 million individuals for instances of typical bleeding disorders, blood clots, as well as a medical condition called ITP (idiopathic thrombocytopenic purpura), which causes bleeding gums, easy bruising, as well as internal bleeding due to a drop in blood platelets.
This research was undertaken with Public Health Scotland, which found, the risk of ITP was slightly greater in the 1.7 million individuals who had received the first dose of the Oxford/AstraZeneca vaccine than those who did not receive a jab until 14 April 2021.
The adverse effect is more common among adults who have chronic health issues including diabetes, coronary heart disease, or chronic renal disease, and it usually emerges between the second and fourth week.
The higher risk of ITP following the Oxford/AstraZeneca vaccine is comparable to those reported following other vaccinations such as the MMR, hepatitis B, and flu, where 10 to 30 more cases of ITP occur per million doses. Getting infected with coronavirus puts you at a much-increased risk of developing ITP.
Professor of primary care research and development at the University of Edinburgh as well as a senior author of the study, Aziz Sheikh has stated that this is reassuring in general. The study found low risks due to the vaccination, at the population level.
If patients develop bruising or bleeding after receiving the Oxford/AstraZeneca vaccine, they should contact their doctor immediately since there are effective therapies for ITP available. The overall message is that with immunization, the overall risk of developing the disorder is much lower than if you contract COVID-19, Sheikh added.
Given the low prevalence of infection in the UK and the very uncommon risk of VITT, or vaccine-induced thrombosis and thrombocytopenia, the Joint Committee on Vaccination and Immunization (JCVI) has recommended that under-40s get an alternative to the Oxford/AstraZeneca COVID vaccine, which are based on a different technology.