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Dec. 10, 2021

Analyzing AstraZeneca vaccine to understand rare side effect

An international team of scientists, including Michigan State University researchers, believe they may have found a molecular mechanism behind the extremely rare blood clots linked to adenovirus COVID-19 vaccines.

The global team used state-of-the-art technology to analyze the AstraZeneca vaccine in minute detail to understand whether the ultra-rare side effect could be linked to the viral vector.

Their findings, which were recently published in the international journal "Science Advances," suggest it is the viral vector – in this case an adenovirus used to shuttle the coronavirus’ genetic material into cells – and the way it binds to platelet factor 4 (PF4) once injected that could be the potential mechanism that triggers blood clots in a very small number of people after the vaccine is administered.

Researchers from Cardiff University and Arizona State University worked with AstraZeneca scientists to investigate vaccine-induced immune thrombotic thrombocytopenia (VITT), also known as thrombosis with thrombocytopenia syndrome (TTS), a life-threatening condition seen in a very small number of people after receiving the Oxford-AstraZeneca or Johnson & Johnson vaccines.

For the full story, visit College of Natural Science website.

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