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TC Updated Statement March 18

THROMBOSIS CANADA UPDATED STATEMENT ON ASTRAZENECA VACCINE AND BLOOD CLOTS

 Thrombosis Canada seeks to reassure the public regarding blood clot risk and COVID-19 vaccines

 Toronto, Ontario (March 18, 2021) – Thrombosis Canada has reviewed recent reports from the United Kingdom and Europe relating to the SARS-CoV-2 (COVID-19) vaccine made by AstraZeneca and the development of a very rare type of thrombosis (blood clots) that is associated with thrombocytopenia (low blood platelets).

It is the view of Thrombosis Canada that, based on all available evidence, people who receive the AstraZeneca vaccine are not at increased risk of developing blood clots when compared with the general population.

However, the AstraZeneca vaccine may be associated with extremely rare cases of blood clots that occur in the brain (called cerebral sinus vein thrombosis) and are associated with low blood platelets. These blood clots were found to occur in 1 in 250,000 to 1 in 500,000 people who received the vaccine.

By comparison, people who have COVID-19 are at much higher risk of developing blood clots, which occur in about 1 in 20 people who are in hospital with COVID-19 and in about 1 in 100 people who have COVID-19 but are not in hospital.

“Thrombosis Canada strongly recommends that people receive vaccinations for COVID-19, including the vaccine made by AstraZeneca” says Thrombosis Canada President, Jim Douketis, “that’s what we are telling the many patients who have been asking us because of the reports from Europe. The benefits of preventing blood clots and other disease caused by COVID-19 far outweigh any possible risks, which we consider very low.”

Thrombosis Canada further strongly recommends that the following groups of people receive vaccinations for COVID-19:

1)            people who have had a previous blood clot

2)            people with a family member who has developed a blood clot

3)            people with a hereditary clotting tendency (e.g., factor V Leiden mutation)

4)            people who are receiving blood thinner medications

Thrombosis Canada is dedicated to education and awareness of thrombotic disease. We encourage the public to be aware of the signs and symptoms of thrombosis (blood clots) by accessing our resources at https://thrombosiscanada.ca/resourcepage/patient-family-information/

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