Alberta confirms 1st case of rare blood clot after AstraZeneca vaccine

Alberta has confirmed its first case of a rare blood clot linked to the AstraZeneca vaccine.

The case was identified in a man in his 60s after receiving the vaccine, according to a statement released by Alberta’s chief medical officer of health on Saturday. 

“I continue to recommend AstraZeneca for anyone who is 55 and older, and to recommend that all Albertans get vaccinated as soon as they are able,” Dr. Deena Hinshaw said.

“It is the best way to protect your health and the health of those around you.”

The man has received treatment and is recovering.

The case marks only the second instance of the rare blood clot in Canada after more than 700,000 doses, Hinshaw said.

Hinshaw spoke at length earlier this week about the rarity of these cases, especially compared to the severe outcomes from COVID-19. 

She said the global frequency of vaccine-induced immune thrombotic thrombocytopenia (VITT) has been estimated at around one in 100,000 to 250,000 doses of vaccine.

Dr. Deena Hinshaw, Alberta’s chief medical officer of health, spoke at length Thursday about the importance of vaccination, which she says trumps the rare risks associated with the AstraZeneca vaccine. 1:21

The risk of a blood clot is significantly higher for people who become infected with COVID-19 than for anyone who received the AstraZeneca vaccine, Hinshaw said.

About one in four people hospitalized with the disease get blood clots, she added.

Vaccine hesitancy spurred by reports of the extremely rare blood clots has been identified as a factor in low turnouts at mass vaccination clinics in Edmonton and Calgary.

The rapid-flow clinic at the Edmonton Expo Centre can administer 7,000 shots per day at capacity but most days this week did only several hundred.

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