Oxford-AstraZeneca Researchers Halt Clinical Trial of COVID-19 Vaccine Among Children    

A clinical trial of the Oxford-AstraZeneca COVID-19 vaccine involving young children and teenagers has been halted by Oxford researchers as British drug regulators conduct a safety review of the two-shot regimen.The Medicines and Healthcare Products Regulatory Agency are looking into a possible link between the vaccine and blood clots across the world, including several European countries. So far,  there have only been 30 cases of blood clots out of 18 million doses administered across the European continent, including seven fatalities.  Most of the cases were diagnosed as cerebral venous sinus thrombosis, which are clots that drain blood from the brain and can lead to strokes.   Marco Cavaleri, the head of vaccines for the European Medicines Agency, told an Italian newspaper Tuesday the agency was prepared to confirm a link between the troubled vaccine and blood clots, but the EMA issued a statement to Agence France-Presse denying those claims, saying it expected to announce its findings either Wednesday or Thursday.   The Oxford-AstraZeneca vaccine has had a troubled rollout across the world, initially because of a lack of information from its late-stage clinical trials on its effect on older people, which has slowed vaccination efforts throughout Europe. Many nations stopped administering the Oxford-AstraZeneca vaccine because of the blood clotting incidents.   Britain adds Moderna vaccineMeanwhile, Britain is adding the highly successful Moderna two-shot vaccine to its immunization campaign beginning Wednesday in Wales.  The Moderna vaccine is the third approved for use in Britain after the Oxford-AstraZeneca and Pfizer-BioNTech versions.   A nurse holds a vial of the Moderna coronavirus disease (COVID-19) vaccine at the Glangwili General Hospital in Carmarthen, Wales, Britain, April 7, 2021. (Jacob King/Pool via Reuters)The 17 million doses of the Moderna vaccine ordered by Britain comes as it deals with a shortfall of doses of the Oxford-AstraZeneca vaccine due to manufacturing issues.   COVID impact on brainA new study published Wednesday in the medical journal Lancet Psychiatry has found that 34 percent of COVID-19 survivors suffer from either a neurological or psychiatric conditions within six months of infection.   An analysis of more than 230,000 patients revealed that 17 percent were diagnosed with anxiety, with 14 percent suffering from mood disorders.   The researchers also found that COVID-19 survivors were at 44 percent greater risk of suffering from neurological and psychiatric illness compared with people recovering from flu, and at 16 percent greater risk than people suffering from other respiratory tract infections.      


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