Health Canada says a new and extremely rare blood clotting syndrome may be linked to Oxford-AstraZeneca vaccine but the benefits of the vaccine still far outweigh the risks.
The conclusions come after the department's drug regulatory experts completed a review of safety data, and are in line with those issued in Europe and the United Kingdom last week. The decision comes the day after Canada reported its 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 begins to attack blood platelets, leading to clots. Scientists now know what is happening but they haven't yet been able to explain how the vaccine may be causing it. Health Canada says there is no evidence showing certain people are more at risk than others and the vaccine will remain authorized for all adults in Canada.
The National Advisory Committee on Immunization is reviewing this information and will decide if it needs to change its recommendation that the vaccine not be used on anyone under the age of 55.