1st known case of rare blood clot linked to AstraZeneca COVID-19 vaccine confirmed in Ontario

Click to play video: 'NACI postpones updating Oxford-AstraZeneca vaccine guidelines'
NACI postpones updating Oxford-AstraZeneca vaccine guidelines
WATCH ABOVE: The National Advisory Committee on Immunization (NACI) has postponed unveiling new guidance on the Oxford-AstraZeneca vaccine, which has been linked to extremely rare cases of blood clots. Mike Le Couteur looks at what may have delayed the announcement – Apr 20, 2021

The Ontario government has confirmed the first known case of a rare blood clot linked to the Astrazeneca-COVISHIELD COVID-19 vaccine in the province.

According to a statement issued by the government Friday morning, the man in his 60s received his first dose of the vaccine. It’s not clear when he was inoculated.

Officials said the man was treated and is currently at home recovering.

“While these serious reactions remain extremely rare, we have a robust process in place to monitor for any adverse events and have taken steps to ensure that these events are identified and treated as quickly as possible,” Dr. David Williams, Ontario’s chief medical officer of health, wrote.

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“All COVID-19 vaccines available in the province have been determined to be safe and effective by Health Canada, and have been shown to prevent serious illness, hospitalization and death.”

Williams said of the 1.1 million doses of the vaccine that have been administered in Canada, only four blood clot cases have been detected to date.

He said the provincial government will continue to offer the vaccine to people aged 40 and older.

“This approach is helping to maximize the number of people protected as quickly as possible to prevent further transmission and the much higher risks that come from COVID-19 infection,” Williams said.

“The Health Canada-approved vaccines are the best way to protect your health and those around you. Ontarians are encouraged to get vaccinated as soon as they are eligible and monitor their health after receiving their vaccination.”

So far there have been cases detected New Brunswick, Alberta and Quebec.

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The National Advisory Committee on Immunization previously recommended the vaccine should only be made available to Canadians over the age of 55 after reports of blood clots in younger recipients. The body revised its guidance on Friday, saying it could be offered to people as young as 30 under certain criteria.

On Sunday, the Ontario government announced it was lowering the threshold for people to get the AstraZeneca vaccine to people who are 40 and older. On Friday, a spokesperson said due to a lack of supply the government wouldn’t be lowering the threshold to those 30 and above.

READ MORE: Blood clots from COVID-19 up to 10 times more likely than vaccines, researchers say

Both the European Medical Association and Health Canada have both maintained that the benefits of using AstraZeneca’s COVID-19 vaccine still outweigh any of the risks.

“Reports of blood clots with low platelets in people vaccinated with the AstraZeneca COVID-19 vaccine are very rare,” the Public Health Agency of Canada previously told Global News in a statement.

“Based on all of the evidence available internationally to date, Health Canada continues to consider that the benefits of the AstraZeneca and Covishield vaccines to protect against COVID-19 outweigh the potential risks.”

— With files from David Lao


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