Alberta confirms country's second blood clot after AstraZeneca vaccine dose

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Alberta has confirmed a rare blood clot case in a patient who received the Oxford-AstraZeneca vaccine, the province's chief medical officer of health announced on Saturday.

Dr. Deena Hinshaw said the male patient, who is in his 60s and recovering, marks the second Canadian case of the blood clot disorder known as vaccine-induced immune thrombotic thrombocytopenia, or VITT.

The case does not change the province's risk assessment of the vaccine, she said.

"I continue to recommend AstraZeneca for anyone who is 55 and older, and to recommend that all Albertans get vaccinated as soon as they are able," she said in a statement. "It is the best way to protect your health and the health of those around you."

More than 700,000 doses of AstraZeneca have been administered across Canada to date.

The global frequency of VITT has been estimated at about one case in 100,000 to 250,000 doses, Hinshaw said.

In a stark comparison, she said Albertans 55 and older who are diagnosed with COVID-19 have a one in 200 chance of dying from that infection.

A Quebec woman was the first in Canada to develop a blood clot after being vaccinated with AstraZeneca.

The woman received the vaccine produced at the Serum Institute of India, known as Covishield, and was recovering at home, the Public Health Agency of Canada said Tuesday.

"While every adverse reaction is unfortunate, it is important to remember that these blood clots are extremely rare and that this vaccine helps prevent the much higher risks that come from COVID-19 infection," Hinshaw said.

This report from The Canadian Press was first published April 17, 2021.

The Canadian Press