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AstraZeneca: Two new thrombosis cases in France, of which one fatal

Drug safety agency ANSM reported the new cases in women in their 60s and 70s, after more than 3,855,000 injections of the British-Swedish jab had been administered 

9 May 2021
By Hannah Thompson

Two new cases of thrombosis, of which one was fatal, have been reported in France in patients who had recently had the AstraZeneca Covid vaccine. This brings the total number to 30, and deaths to nine.

In its latest update published on May 7, drug safety agency l'Agence française du médicament (ANSM) said that for the dates April 23-29, there were two new cases of “atypical” or unexpected thrombosis, one fatal, with the reports linked to the Covid-19 AstraZeneca vaccine.

The two new cases were in women in their 60s and 70s. Both suffered cerebral venous thrombosis, including one case with thrombocytopenia, a blood platelet deficiency.

By April 29, more than 3,855,000 injections of the AstraZeneca vaccine had been given in France. It has been limited to people aged 55 and over in the country since March 19.

Read more: AstraZeneca jab re-approved in France but only for over 55s

Read more: Covid France: Why do women report more vaccine side-effects than men?

ANSM said that since the start of the AstraZeneca vaccine’s use in France, there had been a total of “30 cases [of atypical thrombosis after vaccination], including nine deaths”.

Health authorities in France including Health Minister Olivier Véran have repeatedly sought to reassure people who have received the AstraZeneca vaccine. Mr Véran had the AstraZeneca jab due to his work as a neurologist on February 8. 

He has said: “People are not in danger if they have been vaccinated by AstraZeneca. I am telling you, there are no particular steps you need to take.” 

Similarly, the European Medicines Agency has said that the “benefits [of the jab] are greater than its risks and it can be authorised for use in the EU”.

Pfizer-BioNTech side effects 'potential risk’

It comes as ANSM said it is also looking into side effects from the Pfizer-BioNTech vaccine, after six new cases of acute pancreatitis, including one death, were reported in connection with the jab from April 16-29.

Of the 15 serious cases reported of acute pancreatitis, one third of the cases occurred in patients with a history of pancreatic or gallbladder issues. 

The cases constitute a “potential risk”, with ANSM’s findings set to be shared at European level, it said.

ANSM also said that it was doing “analysis of two new cases of Guillain-Barré syndrome [a neurological disorder, also known as acute polyradiculoneuritis]" following the Pfizer-BioNTech jab, and confirmed that the complication should also be seen as a ‘potential risk’”.

To April 29, more than 15,813,000 injections of the Pfizer-BioNTech vaccine had been administered in France.

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3 new cases of rare thrombosis in France in days after AstraZeneca jab

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