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Study finds new clues into what caused blood clots in AstraZeneca vaccine recipients

Kendall Tietzm DCNF

A group of Canadian researchers published a study Wednesday highlighting a previously unknown link between certain amino acids and rare blood clots in AstraZeneca COVID-19 vaccine recipients.

Researchers said it could assist doctors in identifying and treating the blood clots which result from an immune-driven mix of coagulation and loss of platelets that stop bleeding, the Wall Street Journal reported. A team of researchers at McMaster University in Ontario published the findings in the Nature scientific journal, which builds on recent research in Europe about blood clots associated with the vaccine, and some scientists call vaccine-induced immune thrombotic thrombocytopenia (VITT).

AstraZeneca vaccine recipients first reported blood clots in the spring and the shot has been widely used in European countries. VITT has killed 170 vaccinated adults in the U.K, Europe and the U.S. according to government data, the WSJ reported.

VITT has also been seen in the Johnson & Johnson vaccine, but at much lower rates, the WSJ reported. Many of those impacted by blood clots were young and healthy before they received the vaccine, according to researchers and drug regulators.

Researchers and regulators have weighed the vaccine factors and determined the benefits still outweigh the risks, the European Medicine Agency said in March. Researchers want to understand the link between low blood platelets and blood clots with the vaccines to diagnose and prevent the condition more quickly, which might be possible by altering the makeup of the shot, the WSJ reported. 

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