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Long-time Slashdot reader tlhIngan writes: The AstraZeneca vaccine, one of the few approved vaccines to fight COVID-19, was under fire earlier this year for causing blood clots. While the vaccine is still approved for use, and is being used, scientists have been working hard to figure out the cause. The main trigger appears to be caused by the immune system mistakenly identifying a blood protein as part of the virus. The AstraZeneca vaccine has viral RNA embedded on a normal cold virus. Platelet factor 4, a blood protein, is attracted to the virus and sticks to it. Sometimes, the immune system thinks the protein on the virus is the virus and attacks it, causing red blood cells to clump on it, creating a blood clot. This is a positive hope in helping figure out who may be susceptible to blood clots caused by the vaccine and to offer an alternative to those allergic to components of the mRNA vaccines.