Astra Zeneca's Covid-19 vaccine Vaxzevria is being withdrawn worldwide

AstraZeneca initiates a worldwide withdrawal of its Covid vaccine Vaxzevria. The measure is taken just months after the company admitted the vaccine can cause a rare and dangerous side effect, but AstraZeneca claims that the decision is purely commercial.

According to a statement on Tuesday, the withdrawal is due to "a surplus of available updated vaccines" which has led to reduced demand for Vaxzevria, Reuters reports.

The application to withdraw the vaccine was submitted on March 5 and took effect on Tuesday.

The Telegraph, which first reported about the withdrawal, noted that it comes just months after the company first admitted in court documents that the vaccine could be linked to some rare but serious side effects, such as blood clots and low levels of platelets.

AstraZeneca claims that there is no such connection, and emphasizes the benefit of the vaccine made worldwide.

In a statement, the company said that, according to independent estimates, the vaccine saved over 6.5 million lives in just the first year of use, and that over three billion doses have been distributed globally.

“Our efforts have been recognised by governments around the world and are widely regarded as being a critical component of ending the global pandemic”, the company states.

Sweden paused vaccination with Vaxzevria in March 2021 to investigate data on serious side effects. In July 2021, the Public Health Authority decided to phase out the use of the vaccine.

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