German scientists "solve" Covid vaccine blood clot side effect

27 May 2021, 08:15 | Updated: 27 May 2021, 08:25

German scientists say they can fix the issue of why some vaccines cause blood clots (File image)
German scientists say they can fix the issue of why some vaccines cause blood clots (File image). Picture: PA

By Asher McShane

German scientists have said they have discovered why some Covid-19 vaccines can lead to the extremely rare side effect of blood clots.

The team have said the key to the blood clots is in the common cold virus that is used in some vaccines to deliver the spike protein of Covid-19 into the body.

The mRNA vaccines developed by Moderna and Pfizer/BioNTech do not use this delivery system and there have been no blood clotting cases linked to those jabs.

The team of German scientist have said they can advise manufacturers including AstraZeneca and Johnson & Johnson on how to tweak their vaccines to avoid it.

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The UK has begun offering anyone under the age of 40 a choice of vaccines where available, as a result of the extremely rare side effect.

The AstraZeneca vaccine has been linked to 309 clotting cases and 56 deaths in the UK out of 33 million jabs given.

Researchers at Goethe University of Frankfurt and Ulm University, in Helmholtz made the breakthrough, according to the Financial Times.

Dr Rolf Marschalek, a professor at Goethe University, worked on the research. He explained: "When these...virus genes are in the nucleus they can create some problems."

He said the vaccine should be genetically modified so the spike protein doesn't "split apart" when it enters our cells.

"[J&J] is trying to optimize its vaccine now," he told the Financial Times.

"With the data we have in our hands we can tell the companies how to mutate these sequences, coding for the spike protein in a way that prevents unintended splice reactions."

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