Published By: Admin

AstraZeneca Starts Vaccine Withdrawal from Market: Lessons Learnt & Future Outlook for any Health Crisis

The devastating pandemic caused by Covid-19 claimed over 70 lakh lives globally.

Developed in 2021, the Covishield vaccine has been facing scrutiny since its initial days of research. The UK-based pharma company AstraZeneca collaborated with the Serum Institute of India (SII) to produce and provide the Covishield vaccine worldwide. More than 1.7 billion doses of Covishield were administered in India till date. However, the recent confession about side effects by AstraZeneca and sudden withdrawal from the market sent a shockwave among people.

Amidst rising health concerns, we will discuss about important lessons learnt from the Covishield issue.

Experts Raised Concerns Earlier:

Generally, it takes minimum 3-5 years of preclinical and clinical tests before mass administration. However, the researchers became busy in developing effective vaccine due to sudden outbreak Corona virus globally in 2020. Many experts raised eyebrows at the rushed rollout of vaccine.

Denmark was the first country to ban this vaccine in 2021 itself, which is followed by Thailand, Ireland, the Netherlands, France, Germany, Bulgaria, Iceland, Congo, Canada, and Sweden. Even Malaysia, Indonesia, and Australia banned Covishield later.

Side Effects - Should We be Bothered?

Every vaccine comes with few side effects. The Anglo-Swedish drugmaker admitted in a recent legal document that its Covid vaccines can cause Thrombosis Thrombocytopenia Syndrome (TTS) in rare cases. This is characterized by blood clots and low platelet counts. As per recent reports, TTS can happen only four out of million adults, so, nothing to worry about it if you have taken the jab. Meanwhile, you should be on annual medical checkup.

Importance of Raising the Voices:

Whatever be the situation, public health should never be compromised. The first case against AstraZeneca was filed by Jamie Scott who faced blood clotting and bleeding in brain after getting the dose. Since then, AstraZeneca has been fighting several lawsuits against its vaccines.

The Supreme Court of India will soon hear a petition about the side effects associated with Covishield. Chief Justice of India DY Chandrachud has acknowledged the need of an expert panel during hearing for proper investigation.

No Need for Booster Doses:

Over 90% of Indians have been exposed to COVID-19. This led to accquiring a very strong natutal immunity against the virus. “There is no further requirement of vaccination for anybody in India. And there's certainly no requirement for anyone to have a booster especially as we know the side-effect are incremental," British-Indian cardiologist Dr Aseem Malhotra mentioned.

Pandemic - A Lifelong Lesson:

Unfortunately, the pandemic has claimed millions of lives, but, there were some important lessons that we learnt in last couple of years. Pandemic has truly changed us. We understood the importance of adopting healthy lifestyle. Now many countries are trying to make essential fruits and vegetables more affordable. In some nations, taxes are increased on unhealthy sugary drinks.

However, humanity's memory is short-lived. Thus, awareness has no substitute. We cannot stress enough on importance of mental health.

Previously, we have never encountered the symptoms of Covid-19 infections, and all of a sudden we started getting those. Thus, we need to respect the science and the unknown or unprecedented events. Community awareness to adopt to modern technologies is  must. Along with vaccine jab, we need a dose of humility.

“Our sympathy goes out to anyone who has lost loved ones or reported health problems,” AstraZeneca said in a statement.

Amidst safety concerns, the pharma giant has started the vaccine withdrawal process worldwide citing “surplus of available updated vaccines” and “decline in demand” from May 7, 2024.