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Alberta confirms Canada's second blood clot after AstraZeneca vaccine

2nd blood clot after vaccine

UPDATE: 11:30 a.m.

Alberta has confirmed the country's second rare blood clot case in a patient who received the Oxford-AstraZeneca vaccine, the province's chief medical health officer announced Saturday.

Dr. Deena Hinshaw said the male patient, who is in his 60s and recovering, marks the second Canadian case of the blood clot disorder known as vaccine-induced immune thrombotic thrombocytopenia, or VITT.

The diagnosis does not change the province's risk assessment of the vaccine, she said.

"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," she said in a statement.

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

More than 700,000 doses of AstraZeneca have been administered across Canada to date.

The global frequency of VITT has been estimated at about one case in 100,000 to 250,000 doses. In a stark comparison, Albertans 55 and older who are diagnosed with COVID-19 have a one in 200 chance of dying from that infection, Hinshaw said.

A Quebec woman was the first in Canada to develop a blood clot after being vaccinated with AstraZeneca.

The woman received the vaccine produced at the Serum Institute of India, known as Covishield, and was recovering at home, the Public Health Agency of Canada said Tuesday.

"While every adverse reaction is unfortunate, it is important to remember that these blood clots are extremely rare and that this vaccine helps prevent the much higher risks that come from COVID-19 infection," Hinshaw said.

Other pandemic concerns simmered to the surface in Ontario on Saturday, a day after the premier announced anti-pandemic powers that allow police to stop any motorist or pedestrian and ask where they live and why they're not home.

The strict new measures drew furious criticism as the number of infected people in hospital reached record levels. Politicians and civil libertarians attacked the anti-pandemic restrictions as misguided, describing the beefed-up police powers aimed at enforcing stay-at-home orders as overkill.

"I am very concerned about arbitrary stops of people by police at any time," Toronto Mayor John Tory said in a Saturday tweet.

While violating restrictions can carry a $750 fine, failure to provide police with requested information can result in criminal charges, according to the province's association of police chiefs.

Big and small police forces across the province, however, said they had no intention of exercising their new-found powers.

"I would like to reassure our citizens that our officers will not be conducting random vehicle or individual stops,” Peel Regional Police Chief Nishan Duraiappah said on Saturday.

Police forces in Ottawa, Thunder Bay and Halton Region also declared their intention to avoid random stops. Andrew Fletcher, chief of the South Simcoe Police Service, said officers would only act on complaints.

Civil rights groups, however, took little comfort in such statements.

“Ontario is one step closer to becoming a police state,” said Joanna Baron, executive director of the Calgary-based Canadian Constitution Foundation.

“Low income and minority communities have borne the brunt of this pandemic in terms of cases and mortality, and they are now more likely to bear the brunt of police enforcement.”

More than 2,000 patients were in Ontario's hospitals due to the novel coronavirus for the first time since the onset of the year-long pandemic. Of the 2,065 patients receiving treatment, the province said 726 were in intensive care and 501 were on a ventilator.

Ontario logged 4,362 new COVID-19 infections on Saturday, down from the single-day peak of 4,812 recorded a day earlier.

Quebec also reported its highest number of hospitalizations and intensive care cases due to COVID-19 since the second wave.

Over the past 24 hours the province recorded 692 hospitalizations, 175 of which were in ICUs, health officials said.

The figures mark the highest number of hospitalizations since Feb. 19 and the highest number of ICU cases since Feb. 3.

The province's case count climbed by 1,537 on Saturday.

Elsewhere, officials inNunavut reported six new cases of COVID-19, all in the capital city of Iqaluit.

New Brunswick reported 11 new new infections, while Nova Scotia logged eight.

Manitoba reported 183 new COVID-19 case.


ORIGINAL: 9:40 a.m.

Alberta's chief medical officer says the province has confirmed a rare blood clot case in a patient who received the Oxford-AstraZeneca vaccine.

Dr. Deena Hinshaw says the male patient, who is in his 60s and recovering, marks the second Canadian case of the blood clot disorder known as vaccine-induced immune thrombotic thrombocytopenia, or VITT.

More than 700,000 doses of the AstraZeneca vaccine have been administered across Canada to date.

Hinshaw says the second case does not change the province's risk assessment, and she continues to recommend the AstraZeneca vaccine for anyone 55 and older.

She says the global frequency of VITT has been estimated at about one case in 100,000 to 250,000 doses of vaccine.

In a stark comparison, she says Albertans 55 and older who are diagnosed with COVID-19 have a one in 200 chance of dying from that infection.

More coming.



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