Ontario reports first case of rare blood clot after AstraZeneca COVID-19 vaccine

Elisabetta Bianchini
·1-min read
Pharmacist Barbara Violo shows off a vial of the AstraZeneca COVID-19 vaccine after providing doses to customers at the Junction Chemist which is an independent pharmacy during the COVID-19 pandemic in Toronto, Friday, March 12, 2021. (Nathan Denette/The Canadian Press via AP)

Ontario has confirmed its first case of a rare blood clot in a 60-year-old male patient after the individual received the AstraZeneca/COVISHIELD COVID-19 vaccine.

"We have confirmed the first case of the rare blood clotting condition known as vaccine-induced immune thrombotic thrombocytopenia (VITT) in Ontario," a statement from Dr. David Williams, Ontario's chief medical officer of health reads. 

"The patient has received treatment and is recovering at home. Additional details will not be publicly released to protect the patient's privacy."

The province maintains that while this is a serious reaction, it is still "extremely rare" and all COVID-19 vaccines available to Ontarians have been determined to be safe by Health Canada and effective in preventing severe illness, hospitalization and death from COVID-19.

This is the fourth case of this rare blood clot in Canada out of the more than 1.1 million doses of the AstraZeneca/COVISHIELD vaccine that have been administered.

Ontario will continue to offer the AstraZeneca vaccine to individuals 40 and older.

"This approach is helping to maximize the number of people protected as quickly as possible to prevent further transmission and the much higher risks that come from COVID-19 infection," the statement from Dr. Williams reads.

"The Health Canada approved vaccines are the best way to protect your health and those around you. Ontarians are encouraged to get vaccinated as soon as they are eligible and monitor their health after receiving their vaccination."