AstraZeneca-linked blood clot confirmed in Alberta: Hinshaw

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A blood clot linked to the AstraZeneca COVID-19 vaccine has been confirmed in Alberta, the province’s chief medical officer of health Dr. Deena Hinshaw announced Saturday.

In a news release, Hinshaw said a case of the rare blood clot disorder, known as vaccine-induced immune thrombotic thrombocytopenia (VITT), was confirmed in a man in his 60s. He is receiving treatment and recovering, and in order to protect patient confidentiality, no further details are available.

“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. It is the best way to protect your health and the health of those around you,” Hinshaw said in the release.

“The Alberta case marks the second cases 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.”

She said it is important to remember these blood clots are extremely rare, and vaccines prevent the much higher risk that comes with a COVID-19 infection.

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

“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.”