B.C. records first case of rare blood clot after AstraZeneca vaccine

VANCOUVER — B.C. has recorded its first case of a rare response to the AstraZeneca COVID-19 vaccine that causes blood clots.

Provincial health officer Dr. Bonnie Henry announced during a news conference on Thursday that the province had seen its first case of vaccine-induced immune thrombotic thrombocytopenia – or VITT.

The patient who developed the condition is a woman in her 40s, Henry said, adding that the patient is in stable condition and receiving treatment in hospital in the Vancouver Coastal Health region.

VITT happens after about one in every 100,000 doses of AstraZeneca, the provincial health officer said, noting that there is a test to determine if a person has developed the syndrome and there is treatment available.

Henry encouraged anyone who has received any vaccine in B.C. and is experiencing significant side effects such as shortness of breath, persistent severe headache, chest or abdominal pain, or swelling in the limb to call 811 or consult their family doctor.

She also stressed that the AstraZeneca vaccine is safe and effective.

“This is an excellent vaccine,” Henry said. “We only need look at places like the U.K. to see how effective it is in preventing transmission, making sure that you are protected yourself, but also protecting your family and those that you are closest to.”

This is a developing story and will be updated

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