Ontario has paused the AstraZeneca vaccine rollout because of rare blood clot incidents increasing.


A 4 p.m. news conference was held yesterday with Chief Medical Officer Dr. David Williams announcing the news saying there has been an increased incidence rate of a rare blood clotting syndrome (or Vaccine Induced Immune Thrombotic Thrombocytopenia or VIIT).

In Canada, at least 12 cases have been confirmed out of more than two million doses given and three women have died.

He says people who have already received AstraZeneca did the right thing to avoid illness.

Williams said the decision was made out of an abundance of caution. The blood clotting syndrome, while rare, can be fatal.  “Effective today, Ontario will be pausing the rollout and administration of first doses of the AstraZeneca vaccine at this time,” Williams told reporters on Tuesday.

“It is not that the risk for individuals has gone up extensively at this time but because it is sometimes severe we want to be cautious and say ‘let’s pause it’ while we look at the data and information.”

The AstraZeneca vaccine was being offered to individuals aged 40 and up at numerous pharmacies across the province.

Health officials say the risk of the blood clot condition in Ontario is now 1 in 60,000, which is higher than previously thought. They are also now reviewing data on alternative for second doses.

Ontario has given out more than 650,000 doses of the AZ vaccine so far.

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