Quebec confirms 4 more cases of blood clots in people vaccinated with AstraZeneca

The AstraZeneca/Covishield vaccine is drawn at the Telus Convention Centre immunization site in Calgary on April 20, 2021. Leah Hennel, Alberta Health Services

Quebec’s Health Ministry said Thursday that four more cases of rare blood clots in people who received the AstraZeneca COVID-19 vaccine have been confirmed, bringing the total number of cases in the province to eight.

The ministry said in a statement that all four patients have been taken in charge by the health network and are receiving the appropriate care.

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Three remain in hospital but health authorities said their condition was not life-threatening, while the fourth patient is recovering at home.

Quebec officials stressed that while blood clots are a possible complication of the AstraZeneca vaccine, it is a rare occurrence with a risk of around 1 in 100,000 for the first dose.

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“On the second dose, the risk is much lower, on the order of one in a million,” the statement reads.

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As of May 20, more than 500,000 doses of AstraZeneca have been administered in Quebec.

Furthermore, the ministry said it has effective protocols in place to “detect and treat this type of complication.”

Symptoms of a possible blood clot include: shortness of breath, chest pain, swelling of the legs, stomach pain, a severe or persistent headache lasting a few days, blurred vision or bruising on the skin.

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Anyone experiencing this symptoms, especially four to 20 days after having been vaccinated, should seek immediate medical attention.

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The ministry recommends consulting with a doctor or calling the Info-Santé line at 811.

Quebec has reported one death linked to a blood clot after a woman in her 50s received Oxford-AstraZeneca’s COVID-19 vaccine in April.

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