(INDIANAPOLIS) — What could be the fourth approved coronavirus vaccine is the first to spark a
significant debate over side effects.
The AstraZeneca vaccine is cheaper and easier to store than its predecessors, and is awaiting
approval from the FDA. But several European countries which had approved the vaccine
suspended its use after a few dozen cases of a rare blood clotting disorder, some of them fatal.
On Tuesday, Canada barred the vaccine for patients under 55, while Germany limited its use to
patients over 60.
The IU School of Medicine was among the clinical-trial sites for the AstraZeneca vaccine.
Researcher Cynthia Brown says the disorder hasn’t surfaced among the 530 patients there, nor at
about 100 other U.S. sites.
Brown says as long as you don’t have a history of clotting issues, she believes the vaccine’s
benefits still outweigh any risk. She says it’s not unusual for rare side effects to turn up when a
drug transitions from clinical trials to widespread use, as the number of patients receiving it goes
from the tens of thousands to the millions.
Brown says the FDA will have an advantage in considering the vaccine that it didn’t have when it
decided whether to approve the previous vaccines: it has data not just from trials, but from the
countries that have already approved it.
IU is continuing to check in with its test subjects weekly for any sign of either side effects or