New Brunswick reports thrombotic death associated with Oxford-AstraZeneca vaccine

Fredericton — New Brunswick health officials report that the first person in the state to develop a blood clot after receiving the Oxford-AstraZeneca vaccine.

Individuals in their 60s were vaccinated in mid-April and developed symptoms a week later, Health Director Jennifer Russell told reporters Wednesday. She said a person of unknown gender was hospitalized and died two days later.

“Post-vaccination complications are very rare, but they do happen,” Russell said.

This is Canada’s third reported death from a rare blood coagulation syndrome known as vaccine-induced thrombotic thrombocytopenia (VITT). A 54-year-old Quebec woman died after receiving the AstraZeneca vaccine last month, and Alberta officials announced the death of a woman in her 50s on Tuesday night.

According to Russell, the risk of vaccine complications is very low, between once in 100,000 and once in 250,000. She added that hundreds of thousands of AstraZeneca vaccines have been given throughout Canada, most of them without problems.

To date, New Brunswick has received 48,000 AstraZeneca vaccines, of which 44,000.

The state reported two cases of VITT. Russell said there were two other possible cases under investigation, but did not provide details until the investigation was completed.

“We continue to evaluate the use of this vaccine and ensure that the risks associated with its use are proportional to the potential consequences of being infected with COVID-19,” Russell said. “The risk of using it for people over the age of 55 is not zero, but the information we have to date is that the benefits outweigh those risks.”

According to Russell, people taking the vaccine include shortness of breath, chest pain, swelling of the legs, persistent abdominal pain, severe and worsening persistent headaches and vision problems, skin bruise, and small blood stains under the skin. The neurological symptoms of the injection site should be monitored.

Experts claim that blood coagulation syndrome is very rare and can be treated in most cases.

Health Minister Dorothy Shepherd said at a news conference that death is tragic, but it is important to remember that the risk of death from COVID-19 is far greater than the risk associated with AstraZeneca vaccination. Said.

Shepherd said the vaccine will continue to be provided to people over the age of 55 in New Brunswick.

“All the vaccines we use are approved by Health Canada,” Shepherd said, saying that 38% of New Brandswickers over the age of 16 have been vaccinated at least once. It was.

According to Russell, people who receive the first dose of AstraZeneca will see a doctor within two weeks to see if they should get a second dose or another vaccine.

Kevin Bisset