A case of an Oxford-AstraZeneca-linked blood clot has been confirmed in Alberta, says the province’s chief medical officer of health.
“We have confirmed a case of the rare blood clot disorder known as VITT in Alberta,” Dr. Deena Hinshaw said Saturday.
The patient is a male in his 60s who has received treatment and is recovering. To protect patient confidentiality, additional details will not be publicly released.
Hinshaw is recommending that all Albertans get vaccinated as soon as they are able.
“It is the best way to protect your health and the health of those around you,” said Hinshaw.
“The Alberta case marks the second case of VITT out of more than 700,000 doses of AstraZeneca or CoviSHIELD/AstraZeneca that have been administered in Canada to date. This does not change the risk assessment previously communicated to Albertans.”
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 last Tuesday.
Hinshaw said the province is “actively monitoring” the safety of all vaccines and working with health officials across Canada to protect Albertans.
“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,” she said.
The global frequency of VITT has been estimated at approximately one case in 100,000 to 250,000 doses of vaccine. In comparison, Albertans 55 and older who are diagnosed with COVID-19 have a one in 200 chance of dying from that infection. They are also at least 1,500 times more likely to be hospitalized from COVID-19 than experiencing VITT after getting AstraZeneca.
In Europe, only a few dozen cases of the rare post-inoculation blood clots have been reported compared to the millions vaccinated with AstraZeneca. Most of those cases have occurred within 14 days of the shot, and the majority were in women under 55.
–With files from The Canadian Press