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

Canadian Pacific Railway’s Caboose 437115 was retired and donated to Maple Ridge in 1991. Now, it’s in need of some repairs, and the museum is looking for some people willing to help in its refurbishing. (Maple Ridge Museum/Special to The News)
LOOKING BACK: Caboose needs a new roof

Maple Ridge Museum is putting the call out to loca train lovers for some help

Grant De Patie. (The News files)
Virtual sit-in in memory of Maple Ridge gas attendant killed in 2005

Protest for stronger safety protections for late-night workers

Have an opinion you’d like to share? Submit letters to the editor through our website, via email or the postal service. (Heather Colpitts/Black Press Media)
LETTER: Pitt Meadows does not need new RCMP detachment

Local resident says the price tag is too much

Maple Ridge author Tiffany-Ann Bottcher is one of 21 authors whose real-life stories are featured in the new book Women in Business in a Changing World. (Special to The News)
Maple Ridge author shares real-life story to inspire women in business

Tiffany-Ann Bottcher, is a long-time Maple Ridge resident, a full-time business coach and blogger

People watch a car burn during a riot following game 7 of the NHL Stanley Cup final in downtown Vancouver, B.C., in this June 15, 2011 photo. There’s new evidence the Vancouver police were warned about a possible riot days before violence broke out during the final game of the Stanley Cup playoffs on June 15. THE CANADIAN PRESS/Geoff Howe
Maple Ridge residents share Vancouver Stanley Cup Riot memories

June 15th was 10th anniversary of Canucks Game 7 loss

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

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

UFV athletes were honoured for their strength and perseverance during the pandemic. (UFV photo)
Fraser Valley athletes recognized in year without sports

UFV Cascades athletes honoured for strength shown during the pandemic

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

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

(Paul Henderson/ Chilliwack Progress)
Trutch Avenue in Chilliwack to be renamed to remove racist taint

New name to have Indigenous significance as Chilliwack takes new step toward reconciliation

Canadian Prime Minister Justin Trudeau is seen during a joint news conference following the EU-Canada Summit, in Brussels, Belgium, Tuesday June 15, 2021. Trudeau says Canada is on track now to have 68 million doses delivered by the end of July, which is more than enough to fully vaccinate all 33.2 million Canadians over the age of 12. THE CANADIAN PRESS/Adrian Wyld
Vaccine deliveries enough to fully vaccinate all eligible Canadians by end of July

Three in four eligible Canadians now have their first dose, nearly one in five fully vaccinated.

Most Read