Thursday May 6, 2021 | LOWER MAINLAND, BC
by Mary P Brooke, B.Sc., Editor | Island Social Trends
Today Provincial Health Officer Dr Bonnie Henry led early in her COVID-19 update with the news that BC has seen its first case of a blood clot happening as a result of someone receiving the AstraZeneca vaccine.
The woman who had the thrombotic thrombocytopenia (VITT) reaction is 49 years old; she resides within the Vancouver Coastal Health Authority. She reportedly felt something was wrong, approached her family doctor about it, the doctor requested a blood test, low platelets were determined from the blood test, the woman received the appropriate treatment, and she is recovering.
Symptoms of a possible VITT response to the vaccine are likely to appear (if at all) within the wide range of about four to 28 days after the injection, Dr Henry said today. The woman as described above experiencing her VITT response around day 5 or 6 after injection, Dr Henry said.
Clots of this type can present in pulmonary (lung) veins, in the leg or arm, or also in the central venus sinus in the brain, as itemized by Dr Henry today.
She said that physicians in BC are asked to be on alert for the VITT reaction, which apparently occurs in 1 in 100,000 people who receive that viral-vector type of COVID vaccine.
According to the Mayo Clinic, a blood clot in a leg vein may cause pain, warmth and tenderness in the affected area. “Deep vein thrombosis can be very serious because blood clots in your veins can break loose, travel through your bloodstream and get stuck in your lungs, blocking blood flow (pulmonary embolism). However, pulmonary embolism can occur with no evidence of DVT,” the Mayo Clinic states on their page about blood clots in the leg.
Going forward, the AstraZeneca concerns are likely to be minimized. “We are not expecting a lot of the AstraZeneca to come in, so it’s sort of a moot point,” said Dr Henry today in her 1 pm COVID-19 update delivered from the Fraser Health Authority region of the BC Lower Mainland.
Most COVID transmission in Surrey (in Fraser Health):
Today Dr Henry was accompanied by both Health Minister Adrian Dix and Dr Victoria Lee who is head of the Fraser Health Authority. Most transmission and cases are occurring in the Fraser Health region, as has been the case for most if not all of the COVID-19 pandemic in BC.
“Nothing would make me happier than having all of Surrey vaccinated,” said Dr Lee today.
And Minister Dix said: “We should focus more vaccination in Surrey in the coming weeks, and that’s what you’re seeing.”
Vancouver Island COVID at May 6:
There are presently 240 active cases of COVID-19 on Vancouver Island, with 17 of those new today. Presently 15 people are hospitalized due to COVID-19 (five of those in ICU).
So far, 321,425 doses of COVID vaccine have been administered by Island Health (11,474 of those were second doses). Of those, the majority were mRNA-type vaccinations (237,670 Pfizer and 65,752 Moderna).