A large real-world study in more than one million people has found a low incidence of blood clotting disorders after inoculation with the first dose of AstraZeneca’s Covid-19 vaccine, Vaxzevria, versus Pfizer and BioNTech’s mRNA vaccine. Data showed comparable and overall favourable safety profiles for the vaccines. Both vaccines led to rare blood clots but the incidence rate was similar to that expected in the general population and lower than in Covid-19 patients. Data from the study has been published online as a pre-print on The Lancet. Other studies have suggested a lower rate of blood clotting events after the second dose of Vaxzevria, though the latest paper had insufficient follow-up time to draw a conclusion on this.
GlaxoSmithKline and Vir Biotechnology have entered a joint procurement agreement with the European Commission to provide up to 220,000 doses of their drug candidate, sotrovimab, to treat Covid-19 in adults and adolescents aged 12 years or above, who do not need supplemental oxygen and are at risk of disease progression. Participating EU member states can buy the drug after emergency authorisation at the regional or EU level.
The US Food and Drug Administration has extended the shelf life for Johnson & Johnson’s single-dose Covid-19 vaccine from four and a half months to six months. The extension is supported by findings from ongoing stability assessment studies, which showed the vaccine to be stable at six months when refrigerated at temperatures of 2˚C to 8˚C.