Provincial Health Officer Dr. Bonnie Henry said on Thursday that the province has recorded its second case of a rare blood clot, dubbed vaccine-induced immune thrombotic thrombocytopenia – or VITT – in a person who received the AstraZeneca vaccine.
“While all of our vaccines are safe and effective, there have been a small number of rare but serious adverse events following immunization,” said Henry during a press conference. “We have had a second case of vaccine-induced immune thrombotic thrombocytopenia following an AstraZeneca COVID-19 vaccination.”
The patient, she furthered, is a man in his 40s.
“He is in stable condition and receiving care and treatment in the Fraser Health region,” said Henry.
Last week, Henry said that while VITT is rare, it is something officials know to be associated with the AstraZeneca vaccine.
Still, she stressed that the overall likelihood of this happening in people who receive the vaccine is about one in 100,000 doses, noting that there is a way to test for VITT, “and there is treatment.”
The potential for VITT to develop, Henry furthered, is typically between day four and day 28 after receiving the vaccine.
During Thursday’s press conference, Health Minister Adrian Dix noted that to date, 272,537 doses of the AstraZeneca have been administered in BC.
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Henry said she’s aware that many people have already received the AstraZeneca vaccine in BC to date, and called it an “important part” of the province’s vaccination program.
She encouraged anyone who has received AstraZeneca – or any of the available vaccines – and is feeling unwell to call 811 and talk to a healthcare provider.
Symptoms to watch for include:
- Persistent, severe headache
- Shortness of breath
- Chest pain
- Severe abdominal pain
- Swelling or redness in a limb
And while Henry recognized last week that that this kind of news “can be alarming” for those who have received the AstraZeneca vaccine to hear this news, she stressed that it’s still “an excellent vaccine. It is safe, and it is effective.”