Pharmacist Barbara Violo shows off a vile of the Oxford-AstraZeneca COVID-19 vaccine after providing doses to customers at the Junction Chemist, which is a independent pharmacy, during the COVID-19 pandemic in Toronto on Friday, March 12, 2021. THE CANADIAN PRESS/Nathan Denette

New Brunswick reports blood clot death in connection with Oxford-AstraZeneca vaccine

FREDERICTON — New Brunswick health officials on Wednesday reported the province’s first death of someone who developed a blood clot after receiving the Oxford-AstraZeneca vaccine.

The individual in their 60s received the vaccine in mid-April and developed symptoms a week later, chief medical officer of health Dr. Jennifer Russell told reporters Wednesday. She said the person, whose gender was not disclosed, was admitted to hospital and died two days later.

“I want to stress that medical complications following vaccination are extremely rare, but they do happen,” Russell said.

The New Brunswick death is the third reported in Canada of someone dying after taking the AstraZeneca vaccine. The deaths are linked to a rare blood-clotting syndrome known as vaccine-induced thrombotic thrombocytopenia, or VITT.

A 54-year-old Quebec woman died last month after receiving the AstraZeneca vaccine, and Alberta officials announced on Tuesday night the death of a woman in her 50s who had received that shot.

Alberta’s chief medical officer of health, Dr. Deena Hinshaw, said in a statement Tuesday that officials had identified two cases of VITT out of more than 253,000 doses of AstraZeneca administered in the province.

Russell said the risk of complications from the vaccine remains very low: between one in 100,000 and one in 250,000 doses. She added that hundreds of thousands of doses of the AstraZeneca vaccine have been administered across Canada, the vast majority of them without incident.

New Brunswick has so far received 48,000 doses of the AstraZeneca vaccine and administered 44,000 of them.

The province has reported two cases of VITT. Russell said there are two other suspected cases under investigation but wouldn’t provide details until the investigations are complete.

“We will continue to evaluate the use of this vaccine to ensure that risks associated with its use are proportional to the potential consequences of contracting COVID-19,” Russell said. “The risk is not zero using it in people 55 and over, but the information that we have to this date is that the benefits outweigh those risks.”

Russell said anyone getting the vaccine should monitor for adverse symptoms, including shortness of breath, chest pain, leg swelling, persistent abdominal pain, neurological symptoms such as severe and worsening persistent headaches or blurred vision and skin bruising or tiny blood spots under the skin beyond the site of the injection.

Experts maintain the blood-clotting syndrome is exceedingly rare and treatable in most cases.

Health Minister Dorothy Shephard told the news conference that while the death is tragic, it’s important to remember that the risks of dying from COVID-19 are far greater than those associated with receiving the AstraZeneca vaccine. She said the vaccine will continue to be provided to people 55 and older in New Brunswick.

“All of the vaccines that we’re using are Health Canada approved,” Shephard said, noting that 38 per cent of New Brunswickers over the age of 16 have now received at least one dose of vaccine.

Russell said her office expects to receive medical advice in two weeks about whether people who received a first dose of AstraZeneca should get a second dose of the same or receive another vaccine.

Meanwhile, health officials reported on Wednesday the province’s 39th COVID-19-related death. Officials said a resident in their 70s of special-care home Pavillon Beau-Lieu in Grand Falls, N.B., died in hospital.

The province reported 11 new COVID-19 cases: five in the Edmundston region, three in the Moncton area, and one in each of the Saint John, Fredericton and Bathurst regions. New Brunswick has 145 active reported cases of COVID-19 and six patients in hospital wit the disease, including two in intensive care.

Just Posted

The Sylvan Lake Gulls celebrate a sixth inning home run from Nolan Weger on Sunday during a game against the Edmonton Prospects. (Photo by BYRON HACKETT/Advocate Staff)
Historic opening weekend for Sylvan Lake Gulls

It wasn’t perfect, but perhaps that was the beauty of it. Fans… Continue reading

The Government of Alberta identified 115 new COVID-19 cases Sunday, bringing the provincial total to 3,089.
(Black Press file photo)
Alberta reports 100 new cases of COVID-19

The Central zone sits at 218 active cases

Three Hills RCMP recovered stolen copper wire during recent investigation near Kneehill. (File photo by Advocate staff)
Fatal ATV rollover near Innisfail Saturday

A 77-year-old man from Red Deer County died Saturday after an ATV… Continue reading

Firefighters and emergency services workers helped celebrate Barry Young’s 85th birthday at Timberstone Mews on May 29. (Photo by Sean McIntosh/Advocate staff)
Firefighters in central Alberta make birthdays special

A fire truck arriving outside your house is not normally good news.… Continue reading

A view of Two Jack Lake in Banff National Park is shown in this undated handout photo. More Canadians are expected to leave their passports at home this summer and hit the road in Canada as the weak loonie and low gas prices prompt a deeper exploration of their own country. THE CANADIAN PRESS/HO - Travel Alberta *MANDATORY CREDIT*
Report: Alberta losing residents to other parts of Canada

As the COVID-19 pandemic slowly winds down in Alberta, residents are continuing… Continue reading

A large number of supporters were out Saturday at a rally intended to bring awareness about including Hinduism in the grade 2 portion of the K-6 draft curriculum. As it stands now, Hinduism won’t be taught until grade 6 in the proposed draft curriculum. (Photo by BYRON HACKETT/Advocate Staff)
Video: Rally to support adding Hinduism to draft curriculum draws crowd in Red Deer

The Hindu community in Red Deer came out in droves on Saturday… Continue reading

Orange shirts, shoes, flowers and messages are displayed on the steps outside the legislature in Victoria, B.C., on Tuesday, June 8, 2021 following a ceremony hosted by the Songhees and Esquimalt First Nations in honour of the 215 residential school children whose remains have been discovered buried near the facility in Kamloops, B.C. THE CANADIAN PRESS/Chad Hipolito
Alberta city cancels Canada Day fireworks at site of former residential school

City of St. Albert says that the are where the display was planned, is the site of the former Youville Residential School

Barbara Violo, pharmacist and owner of The Junction Chemist Pharmacy, draws up a dose behind vials of both Pfizer-BioNTech and Oxford-AstraZeneca COVID-19 vaccines on the counter, in Toronto, Friday, June 18, 2021. An independent vaccine tracker website founded by a University of Saskatchewan student says just over 20 per cent of eligible Canadians — those 12 years old and above — are now fully vaccinated. THE CANADIAN PRESS/Nathan Denette
At least 20% of eligible Canadians fully vaccinated, 75% with one dose: data

Earlier projections for reopening at this milestone didn’t include Delta variant

This undated file photo provided by Ernie Carswell & Partners shows the home featured in the opening and closing scenes of The Brady Bunch in Los Angeles. Do you know the occupation of Mike Brady, the father in this show about a blended family? (Anthony Barcelo/Ernie Carswell & Partners via AP, File)
QUIZ: A celebration of dad on Father’s Day

How much do you know about famous fathers?

Germany's Robin Gosens, left, celebrates Germany's Mats Hummels after scoring his side's fourth goal during the Euro 2020 soccer championship group F match between Portugal and Germany at the football arena stadium in Munich, Saturday, June 19, 2021. (Matthias Hangst/Pool Photo via AP)
Germany clicks at Euro 2020 with 4-2 win over Portugal

MUNICH (AP) — Germany finally clicked into gear at the European Championship,… Continue reading

Fans cheer on their team during the pre-game warmup of Game 3 of the NHL Stanley Cup semifinal with the Montreal Canadiens facing the Vegas Golden Knights, in Montreal, Friday, June 18, 2021. THE CANADIAN PRESS/Paul Chiasson
COVID-19 concerns give way to Habs Fever in Quebec as Montreal continues playoff run

MONTREAL — The sun hadn’t yet risen in Montreal on Friday morning… Continue reading

Coronavirus cases are on the rise from India to South Africa and Mexico, in a May 19, 2020 story. (Photo by THE ASSOCIATED PRESS)
As Brazil tops 500,000 deaths, protests against president

RIO DE JANEIRO (AP) — Anti-government protesters took to the streets in… Continue reading

A black bear cub forages for food along a salmon stream below a bear viewing spot for tourists in the Mendenhall Glacier Recreation Area in Juneau, Alaska.  (File photo by THE ASSOCIATED PRESS)
Bandit responsible for vehicle break-ins is a black bear

THORNTON, N.H. (AP) — Surveillance video helped police get to the bottom… Continue reading

FILE - In this April 25, 2019 file photo, Editor Rick Hutzell, center, gives a speech to his staff including Chase Cook, Nicki Catterlin, Rachael Pacella, Selene San Felice and Danielle Ohl at the Capital Gazette in Annapolis, Md. The editor of the Capital Gazette, which won a special Pulitzer Prize citation for its coverage and courage in the face of a massacre in its newsroom, is leaving the Maryland newspaper. Hutzell, who worked at the Annapolis paper for more than three decades, authored a farewell column that was published on the paper's website Saturday, June 19, 2021. (Ulysses Muoz/The Baltimore Sun via AP)
Editor of paper that endured newsroom shooting says goodbye

ANNAPOLIS, Md. (AP) — The editor of the Capital Gazette, which won… Continue reading

Most Read