AstraZeneca to withdraw its COVID-19 vaccine; says dip in demand is the reason

The company is facing lawsuits over side effects of the drug.

The Oxford-AstraZeneca COVID-19 vaccine is being withdrawn worldwide, according to the company.

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The announcement comes months after AstraZeneca admitted in court documents that it can cause a rare and dangerous side effect, Reuters is reporting.

“As multiple, variant COVID-19 vaccines have since been developed there is a surplus of available updated vaccines,” the company said, adding that this had led to a decline in demand for Vaxzevria, which is no longer being manufactured or supplied.

The vaccine can no longer be used in the European Union after the company voluntarily withdrew its “marketing authorization,” according to The Independent.

The company faced a class-action lawsuit that claimed the vaccine caused TTS – which stands for Thrombosis with Thrombocytopenia Syndrome. TTS causes people to have blood clots and a low blood platelet count, according to The Associated Press.

The application to withdraw the vaccine was made on March 5 and went into effect on Tuesday.

Similar applications will be made in the coming months in the UK and in other countries that have approved the vaccine, according to according to The Independent.

TTS has been linked to at least 81 deaths in the UK as well as hundreds of serious injuries. AstraZeneca is facing lawsuits from more than 50 alleged victims or their surviving families, according to The Independent.

In a statement the company said: “We are incredibly proud of the role Vaxzevria played in ending the global pandemic. According to independent estimates, over 6.5 million lives were saved in the first year of use alone and over three billion doses were supplied globally.

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

“As multiple, variant Covid-19 vaccines have since been developed, there is a surplus of available updated vaccines. This has led to a decline in demand for Vaxzevria, which is no longer being manufactured or supplied. AstraZeneca has therefore taken the decision to initiate withdrawal of the marketing authorizations for Vaxzevria within Europe.”

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