Ontario Reports First Case of Astra-Zeneca Blood Clot

Credit Scott Wykoff

Britain's medicines regulator on Thursday said there had been 168 major blood clots following a dose of AstraZeneca's COVID-19 vaccine, a rate of 7.9 clots per million doses, a jump in incidence from the previous week's figure.

Dr. David Williams, Ontario's Chief Medical Officer of Health announced the province's first confirmed case of vaccine-induced immune thrombotic thrombocytopenia or blood clot in a patient after receiving the AstraZeneca/COVISHIELD vaccine on Friday.

"I would expect the true number of cases per million doses of vaccine to become clear fairly soon as these reports stabilise, but it is already clear that it is going to remain a very rare event", University of Bristol paediatrics professor Adam Finn said.

After blood clots appeared in patients elsewhere in the world, the National Advisory Committee on Immunization recommended the AstraZeneca shot only be given to those over the age of 55.

The NACI said Friday that it is now recommending that the AstraZeneca vaccine be offered to anyone 30 years of age and older in Canada who doesn't want to wait for an mRNA vaccine. However, with COVID-19 cases rising province-wide and mounting criticism with the pace of vaccination, Ontario and other provinces chose to offer it to residents 40-years and up this week.

The authority said that the vast majority of these cases were "mild to moderate" in nature, and that the benefits of vaccines continue to outweigh the risk of serious side-effects.

"The Health Canada approved vaccines are the best way to protect your health and those around you".

Williams said the province is monitoring the situation.

Moderna and the Defense Health Agency conducted a review and determined the doses nevertheless pose no risk to those at Fort Meade who received them.

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