Health Canada confirmed the first case of a blood clot that was likely linked to the AstraZeneca COVID-19 Vaccine on Tuesday, April 13.

This patient was identified to have received the COVISHIELD vaccine, the injectable AstraZeneca Chinese Communist Party (CCP) Virus or COVID-19 version of the Serum Institute of India. The victim is a woman in Quebec who is not named and recovering at home.

The clotting syndrome has been labeled VIPIT, short for vaccine-induced immune thrombotic thrombocytopenia. It happens when the immune system attacks blood platelets, causing clots, and it is treatable.

Clots caused by the CCP Virus vaccine are not the same as those caused by VIPIT, but one in five patients hospitalized with the CCP Virus will develop a clot, and for patients who end up in critical care, the risk is one in three.

Blood clotting is a common side effect of various common drugs, such as birth control and hormone replacement therapy.

According to international studies, one clot is registered for every 40,000 doses given in Denmark, one in 100,000 in Germany, and one in 250,000 in the United Kingdom.

Overall the incident rate is expected to be between one in 100,000 and one in 250,000, according to Dr. Supriya Sharma, the chief medical adviser at Health Canada.

In a previous interview with Global News, Ben Chan, an assistant professor of global health at the University of Toronto, said that the risk of blood clots from the AstraZeneca vaccine is “equivalent to the risk of being struck by a car and dying in Toronto in a given year.”

Despite new research suggesting a “stronger correlation” between AstraZeneca’s CCP Virus vaccine and blood clots, Health Canada affirmed the vaccine’s safety on Wednesday.

Dr. Sharma said the agency has no intention to adjust its guidelines but that the vaccine’s label has been revised with updated warnings “so that Canadians can be aware of the side effects.”

According to the latest vaccine precautions, shortness of breath, chest pain, leg swelling, persistent stomach pain, persistent headaches or blurred vision, skin bruising, or pinpoint round spots outside the vaccination site are all symptoms that Canadians should seek medical treatment for after obtaining the vaccine.

Sharma suggested that anyone who has this reaction after receiving the first dose of the AstraZeneca vaccine should not receive the second dose.

She said that because Health Canada found no apparent risk factors, such as age or sex, the agency is not recommending that the vaccine label be changed to limit its use at this time.

Health Canada concluded that the unusual adverse effects were “likely related to the use of the vaccine” after conducting a safety analysis.

However, the National Immunization Advisory Committee (NACI) will meet again to review vaccine age guidelines. The vaccine from AstraZeneca is currently approved for adults aged 55 years and older.

According to Sharma, the AstraZeneca and Covishield vaccines had been administered to over 484,000 people across Canada as of April 3. The federal government has secured 20 million doses of AstraZeneca’s shot and 2 million from the Serum Institute. 

The Canadian government said in a statement that as the COVID-19 vaccine rollout continues in the country, Health Canada and the Public Health Agency of Canada will closely monitor the use of all COVID-19 vaccines and examine and evaluate any new safety problems.

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