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

Just Posted

Dr. Euiseok Kim is the medical director of the new Abbotsford post-COVID-19 recovery clinic. (Submitted)
Post-COVID-19 recovery clinic opens in Abbotsford

New facility following model of first clinic which opened in Surrey

Fraser-Cascade School District and the Board of Education are working through the passing of their 2021/2022 annual budget. (Hope Standard file photo)
Upgrades worth $1.2 million coming for Fraser Cascade schools

Projects a part of next year’s budget, currently in the process of being adopted

Reinhard “Bud” Loewen has now been charged with 21 counts of sexual assault related to his massage business. (Facebook photo)
Former Abbotsford masseur now faces 21 counts of sexual assault

Bud Loewen of Bud’s Massage Therapy initally faced three charges

Two small dogs were also discovered by the officer, one had died, and the other was taken by animal control and sent for veterinary care with the BC SPCA. (File Photo)
Body discovered in parked van in Mission with 2 dogs, 1 dead

Remains in state of decomposition, surviving dog sent for veterinary care with BC SPCA

An avalanche near Highway 1 in Glacier National Park. Avalanche Canada will benefit from a $10 million grant from the B.C. government. (Photo by Parks Canada)
Avalanche Canada receives $10-million grant from B.C. government

Long sought-after funds to bolster organization’s important work

Over the years, police have worked with sketch artists to draw what the boys could have looked like at the times of their deaths. (Vancouver Police Department)
DNA breakthrough expected in cold case involving murdered Vancouver boys, 7 and 8

Forensic analysts are working to identify relatives of the children, whose bodies were found in Stanley Park in 1953

Livestock competitions have been part of the Pacific National Exhibiton for more than a century. (Maple Ridge News files)
B.C. provides $50 million to keep major tourist attractions going

Tour bus companies also eligible for latest COVID-19 aid

The George Massey Tunnel will be closed overnight May 28 and 29 to test the tunnel’s fire suppression system and overhead lane control signals. (Black Press Media file photo)
Overnight Massey Tunnel closures coming May 28, 29

Closure to allow safe testing of tunnel’s fire suppression system and overhead lane control signals

Derek Descoteau with his trusty dog Harvey. (Photo submitted)
Friends provide continuing comfort for family in wake of unresolved senseless B.C. murder

Case remains before the courts five years after Derek Descoteau’s abrupt stabbing death in Chemainus

A prowling coyote proved no match for a stray black cat who chased it out of a Port Moody parking lot Friday, May 14. (Twitter/Screen grab)
VIDEO: Cat who chases away coyote asked to join Port Moody, Vancouver police 

Caught on camera Friday, the black cat jumps out from under a parked car and runs the wild animal out of a vacant lot

The top photo is of a real carbine rifle, while the bottom photo is the airsoft rifle seized from a Kelowna man on May 15. (Contributed)
RCMP issue warning: ‘Imitation firearms need to be dealt with responsibly’

A man brandishing his airsoft rifle in public had his weapon seized by Mounties on Saturday

Abbotsford Regional Hospital. (Black Press Media files)
Canada marks 25,000 COVID-19 deaths since the pandemic began

6 in every 10,000 Canadians died of COVID-19 since March 9, 2020

Staff-Sgt. Svend Nielsen, with the 100 Mile House RCMP. (Melissa Smalley - 100 Mile Free Press)
14-year-old boy killed in serious ATV crash near 100 Mile House

Youth was travelling with a group of peers when the incident occurred last Friday

Most Read