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Expert Rejects Suggestions for Moderna and Pfizer to Withdraw COVID Vaccines Following AstraZeneca

An Australian infectious disease expert has brushed aside suggestions that Pfizer and Moderna should follow AstraZeneca’s footsteps after the withdrawal of its COVID-19 vaccine.

Vaxzevria, co-developed by AstraZeneca and the University of Oxford, was among the most widely administered COVID vaccines globally, with over three billion doses distributed.

AstraZeneca attributed its decision to withdraw to an “oversupply of updated vaccines” and a decrease in demand for its product. This move coincides with the company facing a class action lawsuit in the UK, with 51 claimants alleging injuries caused by Vaxzevria.

The emergence of thrombosis with thrombocytopenia (TTS), a rare but severe side effect linked to the vaccine, has fueled arguments from anti-vaxxers who avoid the jab.

Paul Griffin, previously associated with AstraZeneca’s advisory boards, noted that reports of “very rare” TTS cases had surfaced as early as 2021. Griffin, currently serving as the director of infectious diseases at Mater Health Services in Brisbane and an associate professor at the University of Queensland Medical School, emphasized the extensive discussions on the clotting syndrome.

He finds it noteworthy that AstraZeneca’s commercial decision is perceived by many as a safety concern, emphasizing that the requirement for COVID-19 vaccines persists. Griffin warned against misinformation undermining the safety perception of remaining vaccines, stressing that only those deemed safe and effective continue to be used and recommended.

He remarked, “We only continue to use and recommend vaccines that we are confident remain both safe as well as effective.”

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