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Ontario confirms first case of rare blood clots linked to AstraZeneca vaccine

Last Updated Apr 23, 2021 at 11:42 am EDT

Vials of the AstraZeneca COVID-19 vaccine sit in a fridge at the local vaccine center in Ebersberg near Munich, Germany. March, 22, 2021. THE ASSOCIATED PRESS/Matthias Schrader/File

Ontario has confirmed its first case of rare blood clotting linked to the AstraZeneca COVID-19 vaccine.

According to provincial health officials, the man in his 60s is currently recovering at home after receiving his first dose of the vaccine. No further details were provided, citing patient privacy.

This is fourth reported case in Canada of the rare blood-clotting reaction, which is associated with low platelets and is known as vaccine-induced immune thrombotic thrombocytopenia (VITT). The other cases were in Quebec, Alberta and New Brunswick.

More than 1.1 million doses of the AstraZeneca vaccine have been administered in Canada to date and Health Canada has said the benefits outweigh the risks.

Provincial officials say Ontario will continue to offer the vaccine to individuals aged 40 years and over at this time.

“The health and safety of Ontarians remains our top priority,” Dr. David Williams said in a statement.

“While these serious reactions remain extremely rare, we have a robust process in place to monitor for any adverse events and have taken steps to ensure that these events are identified and treated as quickly as possible.”