Oxford University has paused the development of a clinical trial for the AstraZeneca coronavirus vaccine for children as young as six years old, citing potential medical issues including the development of a rare form of blood clot, the Washington Post reports.
Last month, a number of European nations suspended the vaccinations using the AstraZeneca formula due to reports of a handful of patients with low platelet counts developing a sometimes-fatal form of blood clot in the brain. European Union medical boards reviewed the cases and data, and reaffirmed their support of the AstraZeneca vaccine, but reviews continue.
Countries that suspended use have generally reauthorized the use of the AstraZeneca vaccine, but some have limited its use to adults over a specified age.
Out of 18 million Europeans who received the AstraZeneca vaccine, seven people have died due to the blood clots, and another 22 have been found to have developed the clots. Eight other people, all with low platelet counts, have developed other types of blood clots.
“Whilst there are no safety concerns in the pediatric clinical trial, we await additional information” from the safety review, said a University of Oxford statement provided to British media. “Parents and children should continue to attend all scheduled visits and can contact the trial sites if they have any questions.”