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Ontario reports first rare blood clot related to Oxford-AstraZeneca shot

TORONTO — Ontario has reported its first case of a rare blood clot in a person who received the Oxford-AstraZeneca COVID-19 vaccine. 

The province’s top doctor said Friday that the patient is a man in his 60s who had received his first dose.

Dr. David Williams said the man has been treated and is recovering at home.

It’s the fourth case of the rare clotting condition in Canada out of more than 1.1 million AstraZeneca doses administered across the country.

“The health and safety of Ontarians remains our top priority,” 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.”

Williams said the province is monitoring the situation. 

Ontario will continue offering the vaccine to people aged 40 and older. 

Health Canada has approved the vaccine and has said the benefits outweigh the risks. 

Also on Friday, the province announced that pregnant people of any age in Ontario are now eligible to receive a COVID-19 vaccine.

Ontario says it made the change in light of new information showing women who are pregnant are at high risk of severe illness.

The health minister’s office said pregnant women are now considered among those with highest need for shots.

A doctor’s note is not necessary, and women can expect to wait about 16 weeks for a second dose.

Meanwhile, Toronto and Peel Region were able to begin ordering the temporary closure of some businesses to control workplace COVID-19 outbreaks as of Friday.

The orders from the top doctors in both regions were to come into effect Friday, a measure they both said was designed to protect tens of thousands of essential workers from the virus.

Both regions said the orders would close businesses with recent outbreaks of five or more linked cases in the past two weeks.

Any shutdowns will last 10 days and workers will have to self-isolate during that time.

This report by The Canadian Press was first published April 23, 2021.

The Canadian Press