OTTAWA (NEWS 1130) – Canada has reported its first blood clot in a person who received the AstraZeneca COVID-19 vaccine.
The Public Health Agency of Canada says the woman in Quebec who experienced a blood clot was given the COVISHIELD vaccine, which has been described as the Serum Institute of India version of the AstraZeneca shot.
She is now back at home recovering.
The agency says blood clots reported by those who have AstraZeneca vaccine remain very rare and this report “shows Canada’s vaccine safety monitoring system works.”
NEW: The Public Health Agency says it has received reports of an individual in Canada developing the very rare side effect of a blood clot following vaccination with the Astra Zeneca shot. #cdnpoli pic.twitter.com/k4GBeKJQKp
— Cormac Mac Sweeney (@cmaconthehill) April 13, 2021
Concerns have been raised over the AstraZeneca vaccine for weeks, after these rare blood clots were first reported in Europe.
As a result, many countries suspended use of the drug as investigations continued.
“Since these rare adverse events were first reported in early March 2021 in Europe, Health Canada has been working with international regulators to review data and evidence as it becomes available,” the agency says.
The PHA adds it’s taken “a number of actions to ensure that the AstraZeneca and COVISHIELD version continue to be safe and effective.”
5/5 As the COVID-19 vaccine rollout continues in Canada, Health Canada and the Public Health Agency of Canada will continue to monitor the use of all COVID-19 vaccines closely and examine and assess any new safety concerns.
— Health Canada and PHAC (@GovCanHealth) April 13, 2021
On March 29, Canada’s National Advisory Committee on Immunization recently recommended the drugmaker’s vaccine not be used in people under the age of 55 for the time being.
In the days before NACI’s guidance was updated, Health Canada updated the labels on the impacted vaccines to provide more information on the possibility of the rare blood clots, which have been associated with low levels of blood platelets after immunization with the AstraZeneca shot.
On April 7, the E.U.’s medicines regulator reported it found a “possible link” between the vaccine and blood clots, but recommended vaccinations continue in adults because the benefits still outweigh potential risks.
Canada’s first reported blood clot in a vaccine recipient comes as the U.S. pauses use of the Johnson & Johnson one-dose shot over similar concerns.
In the U.S. at least six cases of blood clots among adult women, out of nearly 7 million doses of the J&J vaccine administered, are being investigated.