Quebec has announced its first death linked to a blood clot after a woman in her 50s received Oxford-AstraZeneca’s Covid-19 vaccine.
Health officials said on Tuesday that the victim was 54. The woman’s death linked to a cerebral blood clot — which public health assured is extremely rare, a 0.001 per cent (1 out of 100,000) chance — is Canada’s first death linked to a vaccination.
There is a much higher risk — up to ten times more likely — of brain blood clots (cerebral venous sinus thrombosis) from COVID-19 infection than there is from vaccines against the disease, researchers says
Health Minister Christian Dubé said the province is currently investigating four cases of serious complications out of some 400,000 people who have received the AstraZeneca vaccine.
Currently the province is offering the vaccine to people between the ages of 45 and 79, and Quebec said there are no plans to change that strategy.
Health officials have highlighted that COVID-19 is associated with more common clotting disorders than cerebral venous sinus thrombosis (CVST), such as strokes, and that recent debate around vaccines has lost sight of how bad the disease itself could be.
Blood clotting can also occur as a side effect to other common medications, such as birth control and hormone replacement therapy, during pregnancy, from long trips, after an injury or post-surgery and due to smoking.
The risks of clotting are higher in each of these cases than from the COVID-19 vaccines themselves, experts says, stressing that the benefits of vaccination outweigh the risks.