Pharmacist Barbara Violo shows off a vile of the Oxford-AstraZeneca COVID-19 vaccine after providing doses to customers at the Junction Chemist, which is a independent pharmacy, during the COVID-19 pandemic in Toronto on Friday, March 12, 2021. THE CANADIAN PRESS/Nathan Denette

Pharmacist Barbara Violo shows off a vile of the Oxford-AstraZeneca COVID-19 vaccine after providing doses to customers at the Junction Chemist, which is a independent pharmacy, during the COVID-19 pandemic in Toronto on Friday, March 12, 2021. THE CANADIAN PRESS/Nathan Denette

New Brunswick reports blood clot death in connection with Oxford-AstraZeneca vaccine

The individual in their 60s received the vaccine in mid-April and developed symptoms a week later

New Brunswick health officials are reporting the province’s first death of someone who developed a blood clot after receiving the Oxford-AstraZeneca vaccine.

The individual in their 60s received the vaccine in mid-April and developed symptoms a week later, chief medical officer of health Dr. Jennifer Russell told reporters Wednesday. She said the person, whose gender was not disclosed, was admitted to hospital and died two days later.

“I want to stress that medical complications following vaccination are extremely rare, but they do happen,” Russell said.

It is the third reported death in Canada from the rare blood-clotting syndrome known as vaccine-induced thrombotic thrombocytopenia, or VITT. A 54-year-old Quebec woman died last month after receiving the AstraZeneca vaccine, and Alberta officials announced on Tuesday night the death of a woman in her 50s.

Russell said the risk of complications from the vaccine remains very low, between one in 100,000 and one in 250,000 doses. She added that hundreds of thousands of doses of the AstraZeneca vaccine have been administered across Canada, the vast majority of them without incident.

New Brunswick has so far received 48,000 doses of the AstraZeneca vaccine and administered 44,000 of them.

The province has reported two cases of VITT. Russell said there are two other possible cases that are under investigation, but she wouldn’t provide more details until the investigations are complete.

“We will continue to evaluate the use of this vaccine to ensure that risks associated with its use are proportional to the potential consequences of contracting COVID-19,” Russell said. “The risk is not zero using it in people 55 and over, but the information that we have to this date is that the benefits outweigh those risks.”

Russell said anyone getting the vaccine should monitor for adverse symptoms, including shortness of breath, chest pain, leg swelling, persistent abdominal pain, neurological symptoms such as severe and worsening persistent headaches or blurred vision and skin bruising or tiny blood spots under the skin beyond the site of the injection.

Experts maintain the blood clotting syndrome is exceedingly rare and treatable in most cases.

Health Minister Dorothy Shephard told the news conference that while the death is tragic, it’s important to remember that the risks of dying from COVID-19 are far greater than those associated with receiving the AstraZeneca vaccine.

Shephard said the vaccine will continue to be provided to people 55 and older in New Brunswick.

“All of the vaccines that we’re using are Health Canada approved,” Shephard said, noting that 38 per cent of New Brunswickers over the age of 16 have now received at least one dose of vaccine.

Russell said her office expects to receive medical advice in two weeks about whether people who received a first dose of AstraZeneca should get a second dose of the same or receive another vaccine.

Kevin Bissett, The Canadian Press

Just Posted

Drums were heard along Dogwood St. in Campbell River today, as a group marched around the city in recognition of National Indigenous Peoples Day. Photo by Sean Feagan / Campbell River Mirror
PHOTO: Marching for National Indigenous Peoples Day

Event celebrates heritage, cultures and achievements of First Nations, Inuit and Métis people.

Police are looking for information regarding several vehicles being vandalized with blue-grey spray paint over the early morning of June 20. Photo courtesy Garrett Lee
Police looking for suspect in vehicle spray paintings

In totral, 17 vehicles spray painted over early hours of June 20

FILE – Perry Bellegarde, National Chief of the Assembly of First Nations, takes part in an event on Parliament Hill in Ottawa on Tuesday, July 7, 2020. THE CANADIAN PRESS/Sean Kilpatrick
Indigenous Peoples Day must be a ‘call to action’, says Assembly of First Nations chief

Discovery of children at Kamloops residential school site must lead to change, Perry Bellegarde says

Several vehicles were vandalized around Rockport with blue spray paint on the night of June 19 or morning of June 20. Photo courtesy Garrett Lee
Vandal spray paints multiple vehicles around Rockland

Residents discover lines of blue spray paint on vehicles morning of June 20.

Kaleb Robertson at bat during the 18UAAA North Island Cubs season opener against the Cowichan Valley Mustangs on June 19, 2021. Photo by Sean Feagan / Black Press Media.
PHOTOS: Minor baseball players and fans welcome return to play

18UAAA Cubs start regular season action after long wait with convincing win against Mustangs

The border crossing into the United States is seen during the COVID-19 pandemic in Lacolle, Que. on February 12, 2021. THE CANADIAN PRESS/Paul Chiasson
VIDEO: Border quarantine to soon lift for fully vaccinated Canadians

Eligible travellers must still take multiple COVID-19 tests

Chilliwack secondary school’s principal is apologizing after a quote equating graduation with the end of slavery in the U.S. was included in the 2020-2021 yearbook. (Screenshot from submitted SnapChat)
B.C. student’s yearbook quote equates grad to end of slavery; principal cites editing error

Black former student ‘disgusted’ as CSS principal apologizes for what is called an editing error

Skeena MLA Ellis Ross. (Photo by Peter Versteege)
BC Liberal leadership candidate condemns ‘senseless violence’ of Okanagan church fires

Skeena MLA Ellis Ross says reconciliation isn’t about revenge for past tragedies

A coroner’s inquest will be taking place at the Capitol Theatre in Port Alberni for the next week. (ELENA RARDON / ALBERNI VALLEY NEWS)
Teen B.C. mom who died following police custody recalled as ‘friend to many’

Police sent Jocelyn George to hospital after intoxication had gone ‘beyond the realm’ of normal detox

FILE - In this Nov. 29, 2020, file photo, Las Vegas Raiders defensive end Carl Nassib leaves the field after an NFL football game against the Atlanta Falcons in Atlanta. Nassib on Monday, June 21, 2021, became the first active NFL player to come out as gay. Nassib announced the news on Instagram, saying he was not doing it for the attention but because “I just think that representation and visibility are so important.” (AP Photo/John Bazemore, File)
Nassib becomes first active NFL player to come out as gay

More than a dozen NFL players have come out as gay after their careers were over

Penticton Indian Band Chief Greg Gabriel speaks to the Sacred Hearts Catholic Church burning down early Monday morning, June 21, 2021. (Monique Tamminga Western News)
Penticton band chief condemns suspicious burning of 2 Catholic churches

Both Catholic church fires are deemed suspicious, says RCMP

COVID-19 daily cases reported to B.C. public health, seven-day moving average to June 17, 2021. (B.C. Centre for Disease Control)
B.C.’s COVID-19 infections drop to 90 on Sunday, 45 Monday

Pandemic spread dwindles as 77% of adults receive vaccine

Emergency vehicles are parked outside of the Wintergreen Apartments on Fourth Avenue. (SUSAN QUINN / Alberni Valley News)
Port Alberni RCMP investigate stabbing on Fourth Avenue

Two men were found with ‘significant’ injuries near Wintergreen Apartments

By protesting uninvited in First Nations’ territories, conservationists are acting in a neocolonial or paternalistic manner, says Huu-ay-aht Chief Robert Dennis. Photo by Heather Thomson
A closer look: do Vancouver Island First Nations support the war in the woods?

First Nations/environmentalist old growth alliance uneasy, if it exists at all

Most Read