Ontario just confirmed its first death linked to AstraZeneca vaccine blood clots

Elias Hubbard
May 26, 2021

Ontario stopped giving out first doses of AstraZeneca earlier this month after what it said was an increased risk of the rare blood clots associated with the vaccine.

Dr. Barbara Yaffee, Ontario's Associated Medical Officer of Health, today confirmed the man's death which occurred just weeks after receiving his first doze of AstraZeneca near the end of April.

There have been 13 cases of VIIT in the province so far, Yaffe said.

Ontario paused the use of the AstraZeneca vaccine as a first dose on May 11 after administering almost a million doses due to an increased risk of blood clots.

"Our study shows that the much more common ischaemic stroke, due to arterial thrombosis blocking blood flow to part of the brain, may also be a presenting feature of vaccine-induced thrombosis", he said. The vaccine is now being administered as a second dose only.

The second shots are being moved up by about 2 weeks and being given at the 10 week mark rather than the recommended 12 weeks as the province rushes to use a stockpile of 45,000 doses set to expire in roughly a week.

If the arguments presented are not deemed satisfactory, Ioannou said that the ministry will turn to sources overseas for a risk assessment, following the example of the United Kingdom and a number of European Union countries that have either stopped using the specific vaccine or imposed age restrictions.

Second doses of the vaccine will move forward in Ontario.

Dr. David Williams, Ontario's chief medical officer of health, has said the shorter interval is safe and provides strong protection against COVID-19.

A spokeswoman for the health minister said many pharmacies and doctors would reach out to patients directly, and asked people to only contact participating pharmacies listed on the province's booking website.

The woman, who was vaccinated with AstraZeneca's Vaxzevria vaccine against the novel coronavirus, was initially admitted to Paphos General Hospital earlier this month after feeling unwell.

And last week, the Indian government, which is battling a Covid-19 crisis that has seen it suffer shortages of treatment supplies, said it was pooling resources to produce more vaccines of different types.

One individual even said that she called a dozen GTA pharmacies in search of an appointment after being told that her neighbourhood pharmacy wasn't being allocated vaccines this time around. "I will be honest and say I would be slightly concerned that we don't minimise the level of changes unless there is a very clear public health argument in favour of it because the vaccination programme really is working now", he told Deputy Kelly. "We took the advice that the best vaccine is the first one you're offered and we're more than happy to take the AstraZeneca, but now I feel we might fall through a crack here".

Other reports by Click Lancashire

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