AstraZeneca Halts Production and Distribution of Covid Vaccine Globally Due to Safety Concerns

UK-based pharmaceutical giant AstraZeneca has taken a drastic step by ceasing the production and distribution of its Covid vaccine, Covishield, globally. This decision comes in light of recent revelations regarding serious side effects associated with the vaccine. AstraZeneca has announced the complete withdrawal of the vaccine from the market, including all existing stocks.

Covishield, developed jointly by AstraZeneca and the University of Oxford, had been manufactured and distributed under license by the Pune Serum Institute in India. With approximately 175 crore doses administered in India alone, the vaccine had been widely used in the country’s vaccination drive.

The company has also opted to voluntarily withdraw its marketing authorization in the European Union, stating that the vaccine will no longer be produced or utilized. Similar recalls are expected to be carried out in other countries where Covishield is currently in use. AstraZeneca’s decision comes amidst mounting legal challenges, including a £100 million lawsuit in the UK, stemming from concerns over the vaccine’s potential side effects.

While the company has acknowledged the possibility of adverse reactions, including strokes, heart attacks, and Thrombosis with Thrombocytopenia Syndrome (TTS), it has maintained that the decision to withdraw the vaccine is not solely based on legal pressures. This admission marks the first time AstraZeneca has publicly acknowledged the existence of significant side effects associated with Covishield.

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