Province reports 1st death related to VITT blood-clotting syndrome

AstraZeneca

On social media, Malaysians looking to register for the voluntary AstraZeneca Covid-19 vaccine were met with frustration and disappointment as they attempted to book their spot after missing out on the first round.

Dr. Barbara Yaffee, Ontario's Associated Medical Officer of Health, today confirmed the man's death which occurred just weeks after receiving his first doze of AstraZeneca near the end of April.

Data from the United Kingdom suggests a much-reduced risk of VITT in second doses of AstraZeneca.

The woman, who was vaccinated with AstraZeneca's Vaxzevria vaccine against the novel coronavirus, was initially admitted to Paphos General Hospital earlier this month after feeling unwell.

Some countries have restricted or dropped AstraZeneca shots from national vaccine campaigns over very rare blood clots, though the EMA says the benefits outweigh the risks.

The AstraZeneca vaccine booking for adults aged 18 and above was made available via https://vaksincovid.gov.my for residents in Johor, Kuala Lumpur, Penang, Sarawak and Selangor on a first-come, first-served basis.

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This is the team that is making a difference in B.C.'s pandemic response. Together, through our efforts, we will put this pandemic behind us.

The province now has more than 300,000 doses in stock. "They fully intend to contact all their customers and individuals that received the AstraZeneca dose so give them the opportunity to do that", she said.

Chief Medical Officer Dr. David Williams halted the use of AstraZeneca as a first dose on May 11, noting a higher rate of blood clots than expected. "I want to reiterate that people who received the dose should feel very confident about their health".

Provincial officials have also aknowledged that demand could outpace supply at first but say that those who do not get an appointment immediately will still be given a chance to recieve their second doses as additional shipments arrive.

The second shots are being moved up by about 2 weeks and being given at the 10 week mark rather than the recommended 12 weeks as the province rushes to use a stockpile of 45,000 doses set to expire in roughly a week. He adds it would be ideal if Ontarians waited 12 weeks between AstraZeneca shots, as research has shown waiting three months between shots boosts the body's immune response.

"There is a risk certainly with the challenges logistically of mobilizing quickly", says Justin Bates, CEO of the Ontario Pharmacists Association. "The good point is that we have lots of people who are eager to get their second doses".

The spokesperson said that "many" pharmacists will reach out proactively to patients to schedule an appointment, however it is not entirely clear what will happen in the case of individuals who received a shot from a pharmacy not offering second doses.

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