The first Quebec resident died of cerebral thrombosis after receiving a dose of the AstraZeneca vaccine, Dr Horatio Arruda said Tuesday. However, this tragic event does not call into question the strategy of Quebec.
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“This is a rare event. We knew this could happen. We have an approximate risk of 1 in 100,000 doses. This is the first death to date. I think this is the first death reported in Canada as far as I know, ”said the National Director of Public Health, expressing his condolences to the family.
“I am sad to know that a 54-year-old woman who was in great shape died due to vaccinations,” said Prime Minister François Lego. At the same time it is difficult to accept, well, we knew it, then we had an experience elsewhere in the world, where we said: there is a risk once in 100,000. ”
Lower minimum age
Quebec suspended AstraZeneca for people under 55 at the end of March due to thrombosis found in Europe, before finally setting a minimum age of 45 last week.
Despite this first death, Public Health intends to continue to use the vaccine in adults aged 45 and over. Dr. Horatio Arruda explains that the benefits against COVID-19 still outweigh the danger of developing thrombosis. “Remember we are on the balance sheet here, huh? The disease also causes these complications, ”he says.
“When we see such stories, they touch us, then we will have nothing but the desire to ‘hug’ the family, realizing that they went not to be vaccinated to die, but this is rare and then we cannot predict this, but the vaccine continues to bring tremendous benefits to the whole of Quebec, ”added Dr. Arruda.
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400,000 people immunized
For his part, the Minister of Health emphasized that four cases of complications associated with the AstraZeneca vaccine, out of 400,000 doses, have been reported in Quebec.
“Unfortunately, we are definitely average, but we still managed to vaccinate 400,000 people who are less likely to get COVID,” says Christian Dube.
Last week, the Federal National Advisory Committee on Immunization recommended lowering the minimum age for taking AstraZeneca to 30 years.
Quebec has not yet implemented this recommendation, but Dr. Arruda reminds that the decision still depends on the epidemiological situation in the province. “If we had a lot more cases in Quebec, we could drop to 30, like in other provinces,” he explained.
More details will come later.