Alberta confirms Canada's second death due to AstraZeneca COVID-19 vaccine

May 5 2021, 1:24 pm

A woman in Alberta has died from a blood clot after receiving the AstraZeneca COVID-19 vaccine.

It is Canada’s second known AstraZeneca vaccine-related death.

Alberta’s Chief Medical Officer of Health Dr. Deena Hinshaw confirmed Canada’s most recent AstraZeneca-related death. Hinshaw says the death is linked to “vaccine-induced immune thrombotic thrombocytopenia (VITT) in a patient after receiving the AstraZeneca vaccine.”

Out of respect for the patient’s privacy and grieving family, no additional details pertaining to the death were given.

“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 the AstraZeneca vaccine,” says Hinshaw.  “The Alberta case marks the second VITT case and only death related to VITT out of more than 253,000 doses of AstraZeneca or CoviSHIELD/AstraZeneca that have been administered in Alberta to date.”

Last month, on April 28, a 54-year-old woman died after blood clot complications in Quebec, three weeks after receiving the AstraZeneca vaccine.

The global frequency of VITT is estimated to be approximately one case in 100,000 to 250,000 doses of vaccine. According to Hinshaw, Albertans aged 50 to 59 who are diagnosed with COVID-19 are 350 times more likely to die from the infection than experience VITT after the AstraZeneca vaccine.

On Tuesday, the Alberta government announced additional COVID-19 measures as active case counts continue to rise across the province.

Retail capacity across Alberta has been limited to 10%, all post-secondary classes have been moved online, funerals have been limited to 10 attendees, places of worship capacity has been limited to 15, and outdoor social gatherings have been capped at five people.

All indoor fitness facilities must close and all outdoor sports and recreation are now prohibited, except activities between household members only.

After Quebec reported the country’s first AstraZeneca vaccine-related death last week, the Public Health Agency of Canada said it is continuing to “gather additional information on this case” and said analysts are monitoring the “risk of rare blood clots” following immunization with the AstraZeneca vaccine.

The Public Health Agency of Canada says it will continue to monitor the use of all COVID-19 vaccines “closely” and will continue to “examine and assess any new safety concerns.”

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