VANCOUVER (NEWS 1130) – A second person has experienced a rare blood clotting syndrome after receiving the now-paused AstraZeneca vaccine in B.C., as the province announces all registered adults will be invited to book their COVID-19 vaccination by the end of the weekend.
Provincial Health Officer Dr. Bonnie Henry says a man in his 40s is being treated for Vaccine-Induced Immune Thrombotic Thrombocytopenia (VITT) in the Fraser Health region, and is in stable condition.
The first B.C. case of VITT was reported on May 6. The woman in her 40s was also an AstraZeneca vaccine recipient.
“This is a rare, but very serious condition,” Henry said, adding recognizing symptoms and getting early treatment is important.
Henry says if you are feeling unwell four to 28 days after receiving any vaccine, you should call 8-1-1 or your doctor. She says serious symptoms include a persistent severe headache, shortness of breath, ongoing chest pain or abdominal pain, swelling, or redness in the limb.
“Those are things that should cause you to seek treatment right away,” she said.
Starting Sunday, all adults will be eligible for COVID-19 vaccination
The province is progressing through its age-based vaccination program quickly, saying all adults will be contacted by Sunday.
As of Thursday, invitations were being sent to people aged 30 and up. That’s being expanded to people aged 25 and up on Friday, and then to everyone aged 20 and up on Saturday.
By Sunday May 16, the province says it will be contacting all registered British Columbians aged 18 and up to book their appointments.
BC is moving forward on vaccine bookings this weekend. pic.twitter.com/gyYJmFNTyG
— Adrian Dix (@adriandix) May 13, 2021
On Wednesday, B.C. announced it was holding its remaining AstraZeneca supply, with the plan of administering it as second doses. No new appointments are being accepted at pharmacies.
“This is not about vaccine safety,” Henry said Thursday. “That is, of course, an important consideration. But really, it’s about the operational response, and the position we are in right now, and also in the context of the global supply. Operationally, we now have an abundance of Pfizer and and Moderna vaccines and are expecting more to come in the coming months.”
She says people who received the AstraZeneca shot made the “right choice” to protect themselves and others.
Q Vitt – second dose concerns?
DBH says there are far fewer instances with second dose – about 1 in a million (vs about 1/65000-100000 with first dose). May be because fewer second doses have been given than first. But Germany is using AZ broadly.#bcpoli @news1130 #covid19
— LizaYuzda (@LizaYuzda) May 13, 2021
As for B.C.’s COVID numbers, they are continuing to decline steadily.
There are 413 people hospitalized with COVID-19, down from 426 on Wednesday. The number of people in ICU remains at 141.
B.C. recorded five more COVID-related deaths, for a total of 1,632 since the pandemic began.
The province reported 587 new infections Thursday, which is on par for the fluctuating daily case counts between 500 and 600 that we’ve seen in the past week or so.
Of the new cases, 62 per cent (365) were in the Fraser Health region and 21 per cent (126) were in the Vancouver Coastal Health region.
Wednesday’s count of 515 new cases was the lowest in months.