Alberta woman dies of rare blood clot condition linked to AstraZeneca COVID-19 vaccine

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An Alberta woman in her 50s has died of a rare blood clot condition linked to the AstraZeneca COVID-19 vaccine.

The province’s chief medical officer of health Dr. Deena Hinshaw announced late Tuesday night that the woman died of vaccine-induced immune thrombotic thrombocytopenia (VITT). It is Alberta’s second case of VITT and the first death related to the condition.

“While any death is tragic, it is important to remember that the risks of dying or suffering other severe outcomes from COVID-19 remain far greater than the risk following AstraZeneca vaccine,” Hinshaw said in a statement.

More than 253,000 doses of AstraZeneca have been administered in Alberta to date. Hinshaw said the global frequency of VITT is estimated to be at approximately one case in 100,000 to 250,000 doses.

“In comparison, Albertans 50 to 59 who are diagnosed with COVID-19 are 350 times more likely to die from that infection than to experience VITT after an AstraZeneca vaccine,” Hinshaw said.

“They are also at least 1,500 times more likely to be hospitalized from COVID-19 than experiencing VITT after getting AstraZeneca.”

Currently, the AstraZeneca vaccine is being offered to Albertans born in 1981 or earlier.

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