The Ontario government says a rare blood clot linked to the AstraZeneca vaccine has been reported in the province.
The vaccine, which has been linked to rare blood clotting events in Europe and North America, will not be discontinued as a result of the incident and will still be available to people aged 40 and older.
On Friday (April 23), Dr. David Williams, Ontario’s Chief Medical Officer of Health, confirmed the province’s first confirmed case of vaccine-induced immune thrombotic thrombocytopenia (VITT) in a patient who received the AstraZeneca/COVISHIELD vaccine.
The patient has been treated and is now recovering.
“We have confirmed the first case of the rare blood clotting condition known as vaccine-induced immune thrombotic thrombocytopenia (VITT) in Ontario,” Williams said in a statement.
“The patient is a male in his 60s who had received his first dose of the AstraZeneca/COVISHIELD vaccine. The patient has received treatment and is recovering at home. Additional details will not be publicly released to protect the patient’s privacy.”
The province says that while such adverse reactions are extremely rare, it has a “robust process in place to monitor for any adverse events and have taken steps to ensure that these events are identified and treated as quickly as possible.”
The province says that all COVID-19 vaccines available in the province have been determined to be safe and effective by Health Canada, and have been shown to prevent serious illness, hospitalization and death.
This case marks the fourth case of VITT out of more than 1.1-million doses of the AstraZeneca/COVISHIELD vaccine that have been administered in Canada to date.
The province says that the risk of COVID-19 far outweighs the risk of the AstraZeneca vaccine.
“The Health Canada approved vaccines are the best way to protect your health and those around you. Ontarians are encouraged to get vaccinated as soon as they are eligible and monitor their health after receiving their vaccination,” Williams said.