AstraZeneca stock dipped Wednesday after European regulators found a possible link between the company’s Covid vaccine and rare cases of blood clots.
The European Medicines Agency’s safety committee reviewed 62 and 24 cases of blood clots in the brain and abdomen, respectively. People reported the cases to systems in Europe and the U.K., where roughly 25 million people have received the two-dose vaccine.
It concluded the unusual blood clots with low blood platelets should be listed as very rare side effects of AstraZeneca‘s (AZN) Covid vaccine. So far, most cases have occurred in women under the age of 60 within two weeks of immunization. The agency reaffirmed its belief that the benefits of Covid vaccination outweigh its risks.
“One plausible explanation of the combination of blood clots and low blood platelets is an immune response, leading to a condition similar to one seen sometimes in patients treated with heparin,” the EMA wrote in its report.
In afternoon trading on the stock market today, AstraZeneca stock fell 1.2%, near 48.60.
AstraZeneca Stock Falls On New Vaccine View
The news is a blow for AstraZeneca stock and the University of Oxford-partnered vaccine.
While awaiting further details, Oxford researchers paused a study of the vaccine in children and teenagers in the U.K., the Wall Street Journal reported Tuesday.
The vaccine has faced a myriad of concerns over the last year.
Most recently, the vaccine proved 76% effective against symptomatic Covid-19 in a late-stage U.S. study. But, before that, the independent Data and Safety Monitoring Board suggested the company had included outdated data in its analysis.
Previously, reports of blood clots in vaccine recipients prompted several European countries to pause their rollout of the AstraZeneca vaccine. And, earlier this year, researchers said the vaccine only offered minimal protection against a variant first identified in South Africa.
All together, AstraZeneca stock has fallen 2.5% this year, as of midday Wednesday.
J&J Vaccine Faces More Mix-Up Fallout
Also Wednesday, the New York Times reported an estimated 62 million doses of Johnson & Johnson‘s (JNJ) Covid vaccine may have been contaminated during a mix-up at a manufacturing site run by Emergent BioSolutions (EBS).
Emergent is working on both Johnson & Johnson’s and AstraZeneca’s Covid vaccines. Earlier this year, workers at a Baltimore facility reportedly conflated ingredients for the two vaccines, ruining 15 million doses of the J&J drug.
Now, 62 million additional doses must be double-checked to ensure none of them were cross-contaminated, the New York Times reported.
On Monday, Emergent said it received an additional $23 million from the Biomedical Advanced Research and Development Authority to purchase additional equipment necessary to manufacture Johnson & Johnson’s jab.
The company also acknowledged “the additional oversight and support” at its Baltimore plant. This includes “increased and final sign-off of” the Johnson & Johnson shot.
Follow Allison Gatlin on Twitter at @IBD_AGatlin.
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