Home World News Quebec reports first death of patient in Canada following AstraZeneca Covid-19 vaccine

Quebec reports first death of patient in Canada following AstraZeneca Covid-19 vaccine

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MONTREAL (REUTERS) – The province of Quebec on Tuesday (April 27) reported Canada’s first death of a patient from a rare blood clot condition after receiving the AstraZeneca Covid-19 vaccine.

Canada has reported at least five cases of blood clots following immunisation with the vaccine, but public health officials maintain the benefits of the AstraZeneca shot outweigh the potential risks.

Quebec Public Health Director Horacio Arruda told reporters the death of the patient due to thrombosis will not change the province’s vaccination strategy.

The rare complication – which some regulators including Health Canada are calling Vaccine-Induced Prothrombotic Immune Thrombocytopenia – involves blood clots accompanied by a low count of platelets, cells in the blood that help it to clot.

Among the first cases of the extremely rare condition identified in those who received the AstraZeneca shot in Europe, 40 per cent died.

Health Canada has said the risk associated with the condition is likely to fall with increased awareness and early treatment, and use of the vaccine in much of Europe and elsewhere has resumed after a regulatory review.

Quebec Health Minister Christian Dubé said the province has vaccinated about 400,000 people with the AstraZeneca shot.

“It’s a calculated risk, but evidently when we think of this woman, her family, her close ones… it’s hard,” Quebec Premier François Legault said of the patient, a 54-year-old woman.

AstraZeneca Canada said in a statement it is aware of the investigation into the death, and that “it is not appropriate for us to comment further on specific individual cases.”

Faced with a crippling third wave of the virus, several Canadian provinces, including the country’s most populous province Ontario recently began offering the AstraZeneca vaccine to people aged 40 and over.

Quebec, where coronavirus cases have recently been declining, allows the vaccine to be used for people aged 45 and over.

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