Canada Blood clot risks: Comparing COVID-19 vaccines with common medicines, travel and smoking
Corbella: The science behind four-month shot interval just isn't there
Canadian politicians and health officials keep telling us that they’re following the best science to combat the COVID-19 pandemic. But is that true? Owing to the botched vaccine procurement by Prime Minister Justin Trudeau’s federal government (that as of Wednesday has Canada placed 59th globally “in total vaccines per 100 people” as compiled by Our World in Data ) Canada’s National Advisory Committee on Immunization (NACI) recommended in early March that the time between the first and second shot of a vaccine should be increased to four months — the longest spread in the world.
There are growing concerns aroundfrom at least two different vaccines.
Health Canada investigating blood clot reports after U.S. pauses J&J vaccine
OTTAWA — Health Canada says it is investigating reports a second vaccine may be linked to extremely rare cases of blood clots. The United States Centers for Disease Control and Prevention and the Food and Drug Administration issued a joint statement Tuesday recommending a "pause" in using the single-dose Johnson & Johnson vaccine after six women developed blood clots after being vaccinated. The clots were observed along with reduced platelet counts making the usual treatment for blood clots, the blood thinner heparin, potentially "dangerous.'' Dr.
On Tuesday, Canada reported itsof a rare blood clot in a person who had received the .
Meanwhile, the U.S. federal health agencies recommended an immediate “pause” in the use ofsingle-dose COVID-19 vaccine after six U.S. recipients developed a rare type of blood clotting, called cerebral venous sinus thrombosis (CVST).
This comes after the European Medicines Agencythat it found a “possible link” between the AstraZeneca and a rare disorder after several dozen cases that came mainly from Europe and the United Kingdom.
Doug Ford contacting consulates to try and get more COVID vaccines for Ontario, spokesperson says
"Vaccines are our only way out of this pandemic and the premier will exhaust every avenue he has in order to get more needles into arms of Ontarians sooner," the spokesperson said.Ivana Yelich said Sunday that Ford began reaching out to international allies after news of cuts to upcoming Moderna shipments, and as the province awaits a possible recommendation on lowering the age limit for the AstraZeneca shot.
While the instances have been extremely rare, the reports have raised fears about the safety of these COVID-19 vaccines, especially for those already hesitant about getting the shots. But experts say there are other more common risks for developing blood clots.
“The risk of the virus is much worse than the risk of the vaccine,” said Gigi Gronvall, senior scholar at the Johns Hopkins Center for Health Security.
Blood clots in vessels form when certain elements in the blood thicken and stick to each other, forming a semi-solid mass. This can happen after an injury or post-surgery.
Blood clotting can occur as a side effect to other common medications, such as birth control and hormone replacement therapy, during pregnancy, from long trips and due to smoking. COVID-19 patients can also develop severe blood clots when suffering from the disease.
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The risks of clotting are higher in these cases than from the COVID-19 vaccines themselves, experts say.
“Blood clots are more common with just day-to-day living than they are with any of the vaccines, including the AstraZeneca and the Johnson & Johnson,” said Linda Dresser, an infectious diseases expert and assistant professor at the University of Toronto.
Ben Chan, an assistant professor of global health at the University of Toronto, said the chances of getting blood clots from the AstraZeneca vaccine are “equivalent to the risk of being hit by a car and dying in Toronto in a given year.”
“Yes, these are risks, we should be aware of them, but we need to put them into perspective compared to the daily risks that we have in our lives around us,” he told Global News in an interview.
“Just about every medication that we take has some potential for side effects, and all those medications have great advantages to us. They help us keep alive.”
vax is not recommended for those under age 55. But what if you’re just past 55+, should you wait to get Pfizer/Moderna? Answer: is so prevalent now, waiting 2-3 days leads to GREATER risk of death from Covid vs blood clot. See my analysis - pls share.
Meet the Canadian doctors working to identify and treat the rare blood clots linked to COVID-19 vaccines
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— Dr. Ben Chan (@dr_benchan)
In a, Chan estimated that the delay in vaccination by a few days can expose us to a higher risk of death from COVID-19 than the risk of a blood clot due to the AstraZeneca vaccine.
The U.S. Food and Drug Administration (FDA) estimates that the likelihood of developing a blood clot for birth control users is, every year.
to experience a blood clot compared with women who are not pregnant, according to the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC).
Deep vein thrombosis (DVT), which is a type of blood clot in the deep vein, can also take place during childbirth and up to three months after giving birth.
“Some people have the tendency to get blood clots, so it's not necessarily a drug, but it's a combination of the drug and the patient's background,” said Alexandra Bastiany, an interventional cardiologist at the Thunder Bay Regional Health Sciences Centre in Ontario.
A number of studies have shown that smoking cigarettes increases the risks for blood clots.
of 32 studies found that so-called ever-smokers (current and former smokers combined) were 17 per cent more likely to develop venous thromboembolism (VTE) – a type of blood clot that starts in the vein – than those who had never smoked.
“Smoking directly affects the coagulation properties, so it causes the platelets in the blood to stick to each other,” said Bastiany.
Long trips when you have to sit for an extended period of time can affect blood circulation, particularly in the legs, causing blood clots.
“If you are on a flight that's over four hours, we know that your risk of a blood clot goes up quite significantly compared to the average of not being on a flight,” said Dresser.
This is why experts recommend standing up and walking during long flights or even wearing compression stockings to prevent clots.
-- With files from Global News' Jackson Proskow
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