Dr. Bonnie Henry speaks about the province’s COVID-19 vaccine plans during a news conference at the legislature in Victoria. THE CANADIAN PRESS/Chad Hipolito

Dr. Bonnie Henry speaks about the province’s COVID-19 vaccine plans during a news conference at the legislature in Victoria. THE CANADIAN PRESS/Chad Hipolito

Dr. Henry says Oxford-AstraZeneca vaccine is safe despite reports of blood clots

‘It is something that is not unexpected when a new product, a new vaccine, is used in large numbers of people’

Canadian health authorities are keeping a watchful eye on European investigations of the Oxford-AstraZeneca vaccine after reports of blood clots following inoculations, but say there is no evidence they were caused by the vaccine.

At least nine European countries hit pause on their use of AstraZeneca’s doses – some entirely, and others only on specific batches – pending further investigation of blood clots, though none suggested there is a link between the clots and getting the vaccine.

Canada’s first 500,000 doses of AstraZeneca are being put to use just this week.

Health Canada said it authorized the vaccine based on a thorough, independent review of the evidence and determined that it meets Canada’s stringent safety, efficacy and quality requirements.

Health Canada said none of the identified batches under investigation have been shipped to Canada.

B.C.’s provincial health officer, Dr. Bonnie Henry, said officials have followed scrutiny of the vaccine and they haven’t seen any similar issues.

“We are watching this very carefully,” she told a news conference.

“It is something that is not unexpected when a new product, a new vaccine, is used in large numbers of people.”

READ MORE: Denmark pauses AstraZeneca vaccine jabs to probe blood clots

READ MORE: National panel advises against using Oxford-AstraZeneca’s COVID-19 vaccine on seniors

The European Medicines Agency is probing the issue itself but says 30 blood clots in more than five million patients who received the vaccine is not out of step with the normal rate of blood clots in the general population.

This latest setback for AstraZeneca’s vaccine came just after concerns about its efficacy in seniors started to wane. Several European nations reversed earlier decisions not to give it to people over 65 because there weren’t enough seniors in the clinical trials.

Canada’s National Advisory Committee on Immunization recommended seniors be prioritized for the mRNA vaccines from Pfizer-BioNTech and Moderna, which had more evidence of how they work on seniors.

The chair of the committee, Dr. Caroline Quach, told The Canadian Press the board met Wednesday to discuss newer evidence of how the AstraZeneca vaccine worked for seniors in “real-world” use, and expects an updated statement on the vaccine in Canada “in the next few days.”

READ MORE: No evidence Oxford-AstraZeneca vaccine is behind blood clots, Canadian experts say

Coronavirusvaccines

Get local stories you won't find anywhere else right to your inbox.
Sign up here

Just Posted

Marchers supporting Indian farmers rallied in Surrey last month, from Bear Creek Park to Holland Park along King George Boulevard. (File photo: Tom Zillich)
Surrey MP says mayor’s motion to support Indian farmers is his to make

“He has his own sovereignty, right,” Sukh Dhaliwal says

Lord Tweedsmuir’s Tremmel States-Jones jumps a player and the goal line to score a touchdown against the Kelowna Owls in 2019. The face of high school football, along with a majority of other high school sports, could significantly change if a new governance proposal is passed at the B.C. School Sports AGM May 1. (Photo: Malin Jordan)
Power struggle: New governance model proposed for B.C. high school sports

Most commissions against new model; BCSS and its board in favour

Researchers say residents should leave sleeping bats alone while they exit hibernation. (Cathy Koot photo)
Spring ‘signal’ brings White Rock, Surrey bats out of hibernation

Community Bat Programs of BC says it’s best to leave sleeping bats alone

(Photo: Creative Outlet)
YOUR MONEY: Tax tips for a complicated tax season involving CERB and more

With April 30 tax deadline, ‘it is important to understand the tax implications (benefits) will have’

The Delta Police Department’s Equity, Diversity and Inclusion Unit: (from left) Const. Joel Thirsk, analyst Jody Johnson and Staff Sgt. Sukh Sidhu. (Delta Police Department photo)
Delta police respond to rising number of hate crimes

Police have received 15 reports so far in 2021, compared to 12 in all of 2020

A woman wears a protective face covering to help prevent the spread of COVID-19 as she walks past the emergency entrance of Vancouver General Hospital in Vancouver, B.C., Friday, April 9, 2021. COVID-19 cases have been on a steady increase in the province of British Columbia over the past week. THE CANADIAN PRESS/Jonathan Hayward
Top doctor warns B.C.’s daily cases could reach 3,000 as COVID hospitalizations surge

There are more than 400 people in hospital, with 125 of them in ICU

The father of Aaliyah Rosa planted a tree and laid a plaque in her memory in 2018. (Langley Advance Times files)
Final witness will extend Langley child murder trial into May or June

Lengthy trial began last autumn with COVID and other factors forcing it to take longer than expected

The corner of 96th Avenue and Glover Road in Fort Langley now has traffic signals, and new “touchless” signal activation buttons. (Matthew Claxton/Langley Advance Times)
Busy Fort Langley intersection gets ‘touchless’ crosswalk signals

The new traffic light started operation in April

A crossing guard stops traffic as students wearing face masks to curb the spread of COVID-19 arrive at Ecole Woodward Hill Elementary School, in Surrey, B.C., on Tuesday, February 23, 2021. A number of schools in the Fraser Health region, including Woodward Hill, have reported cases of the B.1.7.7 COVID-19 variant first detected in the U.K. THE CANADIAN PRESS/Darryl Dyck
COVID-infected students in Lower Mainland schools transmitting to 1 to 2 others: data

Eight to 13 per cent of COVID cases among students in the Lower Mainland were acquired in schools, B.C. says

Dr. Bonnie Henry – in a B.C. health order that went into effect April 12 – granted WorkSafe inspectors the power to enforce workplace closures with COVID-19 spread. THE CANADIAN PRESS/Jonathan Hayward
24 workplace closures being enforced in Fraser Health under new COVID-19 order

WorkSafe inspectors the power to enforce closures if COVID-19 has spread to 3 or more employees

Maple Ridge Fire and Rescue were conducting training operations at Gold Creek Falls when a firefighter broke their leg. (Eileen Robinson photo - Special to The News)
Firefighter suffers broken leg during swift water rescue practice in Golden Ears park

A training exercise at Maple Ridge waterfall on Wedesday results in mishap

Norm Scott, president of Royal Canadian Legion Branch # 91, is disappointed the Legion does not qualify for COVID financial assistance from the provincial government. (Black Press Media file photo)
B.C.’s pandemic aid package passing Legion branches by

Federal non-profit status stymies provincial assistance eligibility

Latest modelling by public health shows cases generated by COVID-19 infections into places where it can spread quickly. (B.C. Centre for Disease Control)
Industrial sites, pubs, restaurants driving COVID-19 spread in B.C.

Infection risk higher in offices, retail, warehouses, farms

Most Read