Home » I got a first dose of AstraZeneca COVID-19 vaccine. Now what?

I got a first dose of AstraZeneca COVID-19 vaccine. Now what?

by Marjorie

About two million Canadians who bought an AstraZeneca shot are possible questioning what to do amid shortages and considerations about blood clots. Here is what it is advisable to know

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Greater than two million Canadians are possible questioning what’s subsequent after a number of provinces — Alberta , Saskatchewan and Ontario — pushed the pause button on first doses of the AstraZeneca vaccine for COVID-19 .


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Alberta and Saskatchewan say it’s a matter of provide constraints; there merely isn’t sufficient AstraZeneca within the provinces. Ontario is pausing first doses out of an “abundance of warning” over the chance of VITT — vaccine-induced thrombotic thrombocytopenia — an uncommon clotting dysfunction that may trigger uncommon circumstances of significant blood clots, together with clots within the mind and different vital organs. Ontario can be anticipating elevated provides of Pfizer and Moderna, mRNA vaccines that haven’t been linked with VITT. The chance-benefit has shifted, consultants say . Right here’s a breakdown of the place issues stand with the AstraZeneca vaccine.

What’s the chance of VITT?

The chance appears to alter based mostly on the most effective estimate of the day. In early April, Well being Canada put the chance as little as one case per 250,000 doses. By Apr. 28, the estimated fee of VITT in Canada was one case per 100,000 individuals vaccinated with AstraZeneca or Covishield, the AstraZeneca vaccine made below licence in India.


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Internationally, estimates fluctuate by nation, with printed estimates starting from as excessive as one case per 26,000 doses in Norway, to as little as one per 127,300 doses administered in Australia. “These fee estimates evolve as circumstances proceed to be reported and investigated,” the Public Well being Company of Canada mentioned in a press release to the Nationwide Publish Tuesday morning.

Hours later, Ontario’s COVID-19 Science Advisory Desk reported that the chance of VITT in Canada, as of Might 8, stood at roughly one per 55,000, however that “a number of presumptive circumstances are nonetheless below investigation.” The VITT fee in Ontario breaks all the way down to roughly one case per 60,000 doses.

Signs embrace a extreme headache, blurry or double imaginative and prescient, problem talking, shortness of breath, extreme chest, again or stomach ache and weird bleeding or bruising.


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There have been a dozen confirmed circumstances in Canada thus far and three deaths.

How lengthy am I in danger?

So far, reported circumstances of VITT occurred between 4 and 28 days after receiving the AstraZeneca vaccine. The blood clots are related to low platelets, blood cells that assist type clots to cease bleeding. “These blood clots are completely different from the blood clots most individuals are accustomed to; they’re extra aggressive and usually tend to trigger demise or extreme incapacity, even with early analysis and therapy,” Ontario’s COVID science desk wrote in a lay abstract.


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Practically all circumstances of VITT have occurred after the primary dose. Knowledge from the U.Ok. suggests the chance of VITT after a second dose of AstraZeneca is roughly one in 1,000,000.

It’s not clear who’s at increased threat of VITT, as a result of the dysfunction is exclusive from different bleeding or clotting issues. “At present we shouldn’t have any proof that VITT is extra widespread in individuals who have had blood clots earlier than, folks with a household historical past of blood clots, folks on contraception or different hormones, folks with autoimmune ailments, folks with low platelets or different platelet issues or pregnant folks,” the science desk mentioned.

Can I nonetheless get a second shot of AstraZeneca?

Saskatchewan residents who acquired their first dose of AstraZeneca will possible be given Pfizer for his or her second dose due to provide shortages, Dr. Saqib Shahab, Saskatchewan’s chief medical well being officer, mentioned Tuesday. Ought to extra shipments of AZ arrive, Shabab mentioned folks would possible be given the selection whether or not to obtain AstraZeneca or Pfizer for his or her second shot.


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In Alberta, all new first doses, with some exceptions, are being booked with the mRNA vaccines Pfizer and Moderna. The province’s remaining provide of AstraZeneca can be used for second doses solely. Alberta hasn’t but determined whether or not individuals who had one dose of AstraZeneca can get Moderna or Pfizer for his or her second shot.

Some 850,000 folks in Ontario who’ve acquired a primary dose of AstraZeneca are additionally ready to listen to whether or not they are going to be switched to a special vaccine for dose two , or have the choice of sticking with AstraZeneca. Well being officers are awaiting preliminary outcomes, due Wednesday night, of a trial led by College of Oxford researchers testing mixing two doses of various vaccines, AstraZeneca adopted by Pfizer, or vice versa.


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Ought to I’ve purchaser’s regret?

Completely not.

“Primarily based on the a lot increased dangers of COVID-19 an infection lately noticed in Ontario together with hospitalization, severe sickness and demise, we keep that those that acquired their first dose with the AstraZeneca vaccine did completely the proper factor to stop sickness, and to guard their households, family members and the communities,” Dr. David Williams, Ontario’s chief medical officer of well being, mentioned in a press release.

“Sure, we’ll have to determine second doses, and potential mixing,” McMaster College infectious ailments specialist Dr. Zain Chagla mentioned on social media. “However on the finish of the day, nobody goes to rely the sufferers saved by taking vaccines, however solely rely the negative effects. Within the U.Ok. for instance, an extra of 10,000 lives have been saved with AZ.”

Ontario has roughly 50,000 unused doses of AstraZenca, and is anticipating 254,500 doses the week of Might 17. The province is reviewing knowledge and contemplating choices for utilizing the vaccine for second doses, saying Wednesday that steering round second doses for individuals who have acquired a primary will come “shortly.”

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