London, Mar 30 (IANS): AstraZeneca's Covid vaccine (manufactured and administered in India as Covishield) raised the risk of heart problem, and death by 3.5 times in young women in the first three months following the first dose, according to a report.
The report by the UKa¿s Office for National Statistics is based on the impact of Covid infection and vaccination's risk on cardiac and all-cause mortality in young people, aged 12 to 29 years, in England.
The report included data starting December 8, 2020, when the vaccines were first rolled out in Britain. The mortality data came from two independent sources: deaths registered by June 8, 2022, and hospital deaths by March 31, 2022.
However, the UK had, in April 2021, stopped AstraZeneca's vaccination for young people following safety concerns, and most of the young people who received it would have been prioritised due to clinical vulnerability or being healthcare workers.A
"The subgroup who received AstraZeneca's Covid vaccination, was more likely to be clinically vulnerable and may be at greater risk of adverse events following vaccination than the general population," said Vahe Nafilyan, a senior statistician at the ONS, in the study published in the journal Nature Communications.
According to the statistical model, 11 out of the 15 cardiac deaths in young women that occurred within 12 weeks of a first dose of a non-mRNA vaccine were likely to be linked to the vaccine.
"This corresponds to 6 cardiac-related deaths per 100,000 females vaccinated with at least a first dose of a non-mRNA vaccine,a the report showed. Of these, cardiac-related death was 3.5 times more likely in the 12 weeks following vaccination than after the 12-week period.
On the other hand, no acestrong evidence" was found between heart-related death risk and any Covid vaccination among young men.
The findings also showed there was no significant increase in cardiac or all-cause mortality in the 12 weeks following Covid vaccination compared with more than 12 weeks after any dose for the study population as a whole.
However, Covid was found to be associated with one additional death for every 12,000 unvaccinated young people and one additional death for every 56,000 vaccinated young people.
"Whilst vaccination carries some risks, these need to be assessed in light of its benefits. Our analysis shows that the risk of death is greatly increased following a positive test for Covid-19 even in young people and many studies show that vaccines are highly effective at preventing hospitalisation or death following Covid-19 infection,a Nafilyan said.
"Therefore, these results cannot be generalised to the population as a whole."
The analysis does not conclusively link the vaccines to the deaths, experts cautioned.
"It's enough to catch my interest and say we should study this more," Daniel Salmon, director of the Institute for Vaccine Safety at Johns Hopkins Bloomberg School of Public Health, was quoted as saying by The New York Times
But "I wouldn't come close to drawing any causal conclusions."
"Overall it's fairly reassuring, but it does bring up some vaccines and some populations that deserve further study," Salmon said.