J&J and AZ studying if modifying COVID-19 vaccines can reduce the risk of rare blood clots

Johnson & Johnson, AstraZeneca and the University of Oxford have begun studying whether or not or not modifying their COVID-19 vaccines can reduce or get rid of the risk of rare, lethal blood clots.

First reported by The Wall Street Journal, sources say scientists are working to  determine the causes behind the blood clots and probably re-engineer the pictures to be distributed by subsequent year.

Both the J&J and AstraZeneca vaccines have been linked to clots together with a low platelet-count situation referred to as thrombocytopenia, which researchers have dubbed vaccine-induced immune thrombotic thrombocytopenia (VITT).       

A J&J spokesman advised The Journal that the New Jersey-based company helps ‘continued analysis and evaluation as we work with medical specialists and world well being authorities’ however didn’t answer particular questions on the early-stage analysis.

An AstraZeneca spokesperson elaborated and stated the agency is ‘actively working with the regulators and scientific neighborhood to know these extraordinarily rare blood-clotting occasions, together with info to drive early prognosis and intervention, and applicable therapy.’

Although it is unknown if the vaccines can even be modified, it’d result in modifications in both possession rights or approval by regulators, the newspaper reported.

The information comes simply someday after it was revealed that the U.S. Food and Drug Administration (FDA) is including a brand new warning to the label of J&J’s vaccine due the risk of a rare autoimmune dysfunction. 

Both shots have been linked to a risk of blood clots along with a low platelet-count condition known as thrombocytopenia. Pictured: S vial of Oxford/AstraZeneca's COVID-19 vaccine in Belgium, March 2021

Johnson & Johnson (left) AstraZeneca and the University of Oxford (proper) have begun studying whether or not their COVID-19 vaccines can be modified to decrease the risk of blood clots together with a low platelet-count situation referred to as thrombocytopenia

Scientists hope to identify the causes behind the blood clots and maybe re-engineer the shots by next year

Scientists hope to determine the causes behind the blood clots and possibly re-engineer the pictures by subsequent year

Both AstraZeneca’s and J&J’s immunization are referred to as viral vector vaccines.

They mix genetic materials from the new virus with the genes of the adenovirus -which causes the widespread chilly – to induce an immune response. 

The pictures had been deemed game-changers as a result of they don’t should be saved at freezing temperatures like the Pfizer-BioNTech and Moderna vaccines.

What’s extra, as a result of J&J’s vaccine solely requires one shot, it was anticipated for use to inoculate hard-to-serve populations similar to folks residing in rural areas and homebound seniors.

Being in a position to modify their vaccines to get rid of the risk of blood clots might improve confidence in the jabs. 

In April. the J&J vaccine was paused by the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC) and FDA for 10 days after six girls below the age of 50 developed Cerebral Venous Sinus Thrombosis (CVST), a rare blood clot that varieties in the venous sinuses in the brain.

The girls developed CVST together with thrombocytopenia. 

In the U.S., J&J's vaccine has been linked to 0.3 cases of rare blood clots per 100,000 doses out of 12.8 million shots administered, and AstraZeneca's jab linked to 1-2 cases per 100,000

In the U.S., J&J’s vaccine has been linked to 0.3 instances of rare blood clots per 100,000 doses out of 12.8 million pictures administered, and AstraZeneca’s jab linked to 1-2 instances per 100,000

This determine was later up to date to incorporate 28 folks, together with one 45-year-old girl who died. 

The pause was lifted and the FDA added a warning to J&J’s coronavirus vaccine that rare blood clotting occasions would possibly happen, primarily amongst girls below age 50.

Data from the CDC recommend the rate of clotting is about 0.3 instances per 100,000 doses of the J&J vaccine. 

Meanwhile, in April, the European Medicine Agency’s security committee decided that blood clots with low blood platelets ought to be listed as very rare aspect impact of the AstraZeneca-Oxford vaccine.

According to information from the UK and Europe, the rate of blood clotting with the AstraZeneca vaccine is barely greater at about one or two per 100,000 doses. 

Several international locations, together with the UK, have beneficial that individuals below age 60 be immunized with different vaccines as a result of their risk of blood clotting is bigger.

Earlier this year, German researchers at Goethe-University of Frankfurt and Ulm University, in Helmholtz, consider the the drawback lies in the adenovirus vector, the widespread chilly virus used so each vaccines can enter the physique. 

They consider that in some folks, the immune system sees the vaccine as a menace and over-produces antibodies to combat it. 

These result in the formation of clumps in the blood, which can turn out to be lethal if the clots transfer in the direction of important organs and lower off provide. 

‘Progress is being quickly pursued by the corporations, and I believe their need to change the vector or the vaccine is shifting in parallel to explaining [the clots],’ Dr Mortimer Poncz, chief of the pediatric-hematology division at Children’s Hospital of Philadelphia advised The Journal.

Recently each J&J’s and AstraZeneca’a vaccine had been linked to Guillain-Barré syndrome, a rare autoimmune situation through which the immune system assaults the peripheral nervous system, quickly paralyzing elements of the physique.   

On Monday, The Washington Post reported that the FDA is add a warning to the J&J label about the situation.

The CDC stated it has obtained about 100 preliminary stories of Guillain-Barré following the one-dose vaccine   

Most the instances have occurred about two weeks after vaccination and largely in males aged 50 and older – and that this has not been seen with both the Pfizer-BioNTech or Moderna vaccines.

And a report from the American Neurological Association in June detailed 11 instances of sufferers who developed Guillain-Barré after receiving the AstraZeneca vaccine. 



Scientists have repeatedly insisted there is no such thing as a proof but that coronavirus vaccines trigger the extraordinarily rare complication — blood clots occurring alongside low platelet ranges.

But officers are nonetheless investigating the hyperlink — present in recipients of each AstraZeneca and Johnson and Johnson’s vaccines — and can’t rule it out fully. 


Experts are stumped as to why the vaccines could also be triggering blockages in very rare instances.

But researchers in Germany consider the drawback lies in the adenovirus vector — a standard chilly virus used so each vaccines can enter the physique.

Academics investigating the problem say the complication is ‘fully absent’ in mRNA vaccines like Pfizer’s and Moderna’s as a result of they’ve a unique supply mechanism.

Experts at Goethe-University of Frankfurt and Ulm University, in Helmholtz, say the AstraZeneca vaccine enters the nucleus of the cell – a blob of DNA in the center. For comparability, the Pfizer jab enters the fluid round it that acts as a protein manufacturing unit.

Bits of coronavirus proteins that get inside the nucleus can break up and the uncommon fragments then get expelled out into the bloodstream, the place they can set off clotting in a tiny quantity of folks, scientists declare.


The EMA stated signs can strike as much as three weeks post-vaccination.

British regulators say the complication tends to happen 4 days after folks first get jabbed. 

Symptoms of the two blood clots can embrace: 

  • Shortness of breath
  • Chest ache
  • Swollen legs
  • Persistent abdomen ache
  • Severe or persistent headache
  • Blurred imaginative and prescient
  • Confusion
  • Seizures 
  • Skin bruising past the web site of injection
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