A vial of Oxford-AstraZeneca COVID-19 vaccine is seen at a facility in Milton, Ont., on Wednesday, March 3, 2021. An Alberta woman in her 50s has died from a rare blood clot disorder after receiving the AstraZeneca vaccine. THE CANADIAN PRESS/Carlos Osorio - POOL

A vial of Oxford-AstraZeneca COVID-19 vaccine is seen at a facility in Milton, Ont., on Wednesday, March 3, 2021. An Alberta woman in her 50s has died from a rare blood clot disorder after receiving the AstraZeneca vaccine. THE CANADIAN PRESS/Carlos Osorio - POOL

Alberta confirms blood clot disorder death linked to AstraZeneca vaccine

Both AstraZeneca and Johnson & Johnson vaccines have been linked to VITT in a very small number of cases

An Alberta woman in her 50s has died from a rare blood clot disorder after receiving the Oxford-AstraZeneca COVID-19 vaccine.

It is the second reported death from vaccine-induced immune thrombotic thrombocytopenia or VITT linked to the AstraZeneca vaccine in Canada. A 54-year-old Quebec woman died last month.

Alberta’s chief medical officer of health, Dr. Deena Hinshaw, said in a statement late Tuesday that the fatality is the province’s second VITT case out of more than 253,000 doses of AstraZeneca that have been administered in Alberta to date.

Two weeks ago, Alberta announced a man in his 60s had been diagnosed with VITT and was recovering.

Hinshaw said while any death is tragic, “it is important to remember that the risks of dying or suffering other severe outcomes from COVID-19 remain far greater than the risk following AstraZeneca vaccine.”

She noted the global risk of developing VITT has been estimated at about one case in 100,000 to 250,000 doses of vaccine. In comparison, Albertans between the ages of 50 and 59 who are diagnosed with COVID-19 are 350 times more likely to die from that infection than to experience VITT after an AstraZeneca shot.

The latest death linked to the AstraZeneca vaccine comes days after the country’s National Advisory Committee on Immunization appeared to contradict Health Canada’s long-standing recommendation that the best vaccine is the first one available.

NACI said Monday that the Pfizer-BioNTech and Moderna vaccines are “preferred” and that Canadians should weigh the risks of waiting for one of them before deciding whether to take a more immediate jab of either the other two approved COVID-19 vaccines in Canada.

Both the AstraZeneca and the Johnson & Johnson vaccines have been linked to VITT in a very small number of cases.

Because of that, Dr. Shelly Deeks, vice-chair of the committee, said someone working from home in a province where there is not much disease might want to wait for a shot of the Pfizer or Moderna vaccines.

But she said it would be a very different risk-benefit analysis for someone working in a manufacturing plant without personal protective equipment in a province where COVID-19 is spreading like wildfire.

On Tuesday, Alberta had 23,623 active COVID-19 infections — the highest case rate of any jurisdiction in North America. There were 671 people in hospital due to the illness, with 150 in intensive care.

There have so far been 2,099 deaths linked to the virus in Alberta.

As of April 24, some 1.7 million doses of the AstraZeneca vaccine have been administered in Canada.

READ MORE: What do you do if you think you have VITT? What we know of the rare clotting disorder

The Canadian Press


Like us on Facebook and follow us on Twitter.

Coronavirusvaccines

Just Posted

Fruit farmers in the Okanagan and Creston valleys are in desperate need of cherry harvesters amid COVID-19 work shortages. (Photo: Unsplash/Abigail Miller)
‘Desperate’ need for workers at Okanagan cherry farms

Fruit farmers are worried they’ll have to abandon crops due to COVID-19 work shortages

Earls On Top at 211 Bernard Avenue in Kelowna. (Google Maps photo)
Downtown Kelowna’s Earls ordered closed after COVID-19 transmission

Earls on Top on Bernard Avenue will be closed from June 18 to June 27

Danny Fulton receives his first dose of the COVID-19 vaccine at the Coast Capri Hotel on April 27. The pop-up clinic was hosted by the First Nations Health Authority. (Aaron Hemens/Capital News)
Drop-in COVID-19 vaccine clinic planned for Kelowna

Clinic at Kelowna Secondary School from June 22 to 24 from 1 p.m. to 7:30 p.m.

Dereck Donald Sears. (Contributed/Crimestoppers)
Murder charge laid in relation to suspicious Kelowna death

Dereck Donald Sears is charged with second-degree murder in the death of Darren Middleton

A motorycle crash has been reported on Westside Road. (Google Maps)
UPDATE: Westside Road reopened following motorcycle crash near Vernon

AIM Roads advises drivers to expect delays due to congestion

A small pod of Pacific white-sided dolphins pass by close to shore in Campbell River June 16, 2021. Still capture from video courtesy of Kimberly Hart
VIDEO: Dolphin sunset captured from Vancouver Island shore

Spectacular setting for view of travelling pod of Pacific white-sided dolphins

Jeanette Megens
KCR: Volunteering is sharing your story

Kelowna Community Resources shares stories of its volunteers in a weekly column

(File photo)
Penticton not holding Canada Day activities out of respect for Indigenous people

Cities across B.C. are cancelling the holiday after an increased spotlight on Canada’s dark history

Cannabis bought in British Columbia (Ashley Wadhwani/Black Press Media)
Is it time to start thinking about greener ways to package cannabis?

Packaging suppliers are still figuring eco-friendly and affordable packaging options that fit the mandates of Cannabis Regulations

Police are asking for public assistance in locating Anthony Graham who has been charged with the murders of Kamloops brothers Carlo and Erick Fryer. (RCMP photo)
2 charged, suspect at large in killings of B.C. brothers linked to gang activity: RCMP

Kamloops brothers Erick and Carlo Fryer were found deceased in May on a remote Okanagan road

Albert Health Minister Tyler Shandro and Alberta Premier Jason Kenney unveil an opening sign after speaking about the Open for Summer Plan and next steps in the COVID-19 vaccine rollout, in Edmonton, Friday, June 18, 2021. THE CANADIAN PRESS/Jason Franson
Alberta 1st province in Canada to lift all COVID-19 public health restrictions

70.2% of eligible citizens 12 and older in the province have received a dose of the vaccine

Fraser Health registered nurse Ramn Manan draws a dose of the Pfizer COVID-19 vaccine into a syringe at a walk-up vaccination clinic at Bear Creek Park, in Surrey, B.C., on Monday, May 17, 2021. THE CANADIAN PRESS/Darryl Dyck
‘Honour our fathers’ with COVID-19 vaccine protection, B.C. urges

109 new cases Friday, 75 per cent of 12 and up immunized

Most Read