Ontario has seen its second case of a rare blood clotting condition after a man in his 60s got the AstraZeneca vaccine in Hamilton.
Hamilton Public Health Services confirmed the case of vaccine-induced immune thrombotic thrombocytopenia (VITT) as a result of a AstraZeneca/COVISHIELD vaccine in a statement on Friday afternoon.
“The patient has received treatment and continues to receive care in hospital,” said Dr. Elizabeth Richardson, the city’s medical officer of health, in an email.
“While these serious reactions remain extremely rare, there is a robust process in place to monitor for any adverse events and have taken steps to ensure that these events are identified and treated as quickly as possible.”
Public health wouldn’t release any further details to protect the identity of the man.
Richardson also emphasized all COVID-19 vaccines available in Ontario have been deemed to be safe and effective by Health Canada, and have been shown to prevent serious illness, hospitalization and death.
Canada has four other official cases of VITT, which is estimated to occur in one out of every 100,000 to 250,000 people vaccinated with the AstraZeneca-Oxford COVID-19 vaccine.
It’s unclear what causes the condition, but the mortality rate is roughly 40 per cent according to Canada’s National Advisory Committee on Immunization (NACI).
WATCH: NACI’s Dr. Caroline Quach-Thanh discusses the committee’s updated AstraZeneca vaccine recommendations:
It can also present as serious close in the veins that drain blood from the brain.
This follows the recommendation from NACI to expand the use of the AstraZeneca-Oxford vaccine to all Canadians over the age of 30, but only when the benefits outweigh the risks of the rare blood clots.
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