Health Canada has updated the label for the AstraZeneca COVID-19 vaccine to provide information on “very rare” reports of blood clots associated with the shots.
On Wednesday evening, Health Canada said the blood clots are “associated with low levels of blood platelets following immunization with the AstraZeneca vaccine.”
Canada’s health agency says the report follows “very rare adverse” events in Europe. Health Canada says it is working with European regulators to review the evidence and has updated the vaccine’s label in Canada.
The health department has also issued guidance for healthcare professionals and vaccine recipients on the potential symptoms to monitor.
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Health Canada reassures Canadians that the AstraZeneca COVID-19 vaccine continues to be “safe and effective at protecting them against COVID-19 and encourages people to get immunized with any of the COVID-19 vaccines that are authorized in Canada.”
The agency has a “robust monitoring” system in place for all of the country’s authorized vaccines and Canada itself has not received any of the blood clots to date on home soil.
“Health Canada is aware that researchers in Europe have indicated that they have identified a possible cause for these very rare events observed in AstraZeneca COVID-19 vaccine recipients,” reads the statement. “However, little information is available about this emerging research. Health Canada will be reviewing this evidence when available.”
The agency says that minor and temporary adverse events, such as headache, fever, fatigue or pain at the injection site are “common after all vaccinations.”
People should seek medical attention if they experience any new or worsening symptoms.
As the COVID-19 vaccine continues to rollout across the country, Health Canada says it will continue to monitor the use of all coronavirus vaccines and assess any new safety concerns.
“Should any safety issue be confirmed, the Department will take appropriate action,” they said.