MONTREAL – A Quebecer has died due to a blood clot after receiving the AstraZeneca vaccine.
Quebec’s public health director, Dr. Horacio Arruda, made the announcement during the government’s Tuesday health update.
The woman who died was 54 years old.
#WATCH A 54-year-old Quebec woman from the Montérégie region, on Montreal's south shore has died of a blood clot after getting the AstraZeneca vaccine. This is the first fatality in Canada. More at 6pm. pic.twitter.com/wvb2ak1Rfr
— CityNews Montreal (@CityNewsMTL) April 27, 2021
Reports indicated she was from the Monteregie-South Shore region of Montreal, but Arruda wouldn’t confirm those details citing privacy reasons.
This is the first Canadian to die after this shot.
Health officials across Canada have maintained that these cases are incredibly rare and the benefits of getting the vaccine far outweigh the risks.
“What I regret is the story of this woman, I think if we could have prevented [this] if we knew that she was going to do it, we wouldn’t have given her the vaccine. But it’s impossible,” said Arruda.
“But I don’t regret [it] because we are sure we are preventing more deaths and complications of the disease, even with that vaccine.”
Quebec Health Minister Christian Dube says the province is currently investigating four cases of serious complications out of some 400,000 people who have received the AstraZeneca vaccine.
“This is very sad but I don’t think it changes the program at all,” said Dube.
“In fact, we were expecting to have these complications with a certain number–it is within the number of persons that could be affected, we are in that number. That’s very unfortunate and we are sad about it, but that’s the price of vaccination.”
Dube says the government has been very clear about the risks associated with the COVID-19 vaccines, which was reiterated when the province opened up eligibility for the AstraZeneca vaccine to include those 55 years old and younger.
“I think that’s the price to pay to be vaccinated and to be going back to a normal life at one point in time,” he said.
Currently, the province is offering the vaccine to Quebecers between the ages of 45 and 79, and Arruda says there are no plans to change that strategy.