According to Health Canada, a new and extremely rare blood clotting syndrome may be linked to the Oxford-AstraZeneca vaccine, but the vaccine’s benefits outweigh the risks.
The findings follow a review of safety data by the department’s drug regulatory experts and are consistent with those issued last week in Europe and the United Kingdom.
The decision comes just one day after Canada reported the country’s first-ever case of a blood clot in a patient who received the AstraZeneca vaccine in Quebec.
The syndrome, now known as VIPIT, occurs when the body’s immune system attacks blood platelets, causing them to clot. Scientists now understand what is happening, but they have yet to explain how the vaccine may be causing it.
According to Health Canada, there is no evidence that certain people are more vulnerable than others, and the vaccine will remain available to all adults in Canada.
The National Advisory Committee on Immunization is reviewing this information and deciding whether to change its recommendation that the vaccine not be administered to anyone under the age of 55.