Unknown if J&J vaccine rare blood clots will lead to Alberta vaccine delays: Hinshaw

EDMONTON — Alberta’s top doctor said it is unknown if the rare issue of blood clots linked to the Johnson & Johnson vaccine in the United States would lead to delays of Albertans receiving it.

The Center for Disease Control and Prevention in the United States have noted six cases where women between the ages of 18 and 48 reported blood clots out of more than 6.8 million doses administered.

In a media availability discussing the finding of Alberta’s first blood clot linked to the AstraZeneca vaccine Saturday, Chief Medical Officer of Health Deena Hinshaw said it is too early to know if there will be any delays in receiving the Johnson & Johnson vaccine.

“We weren’t originally anticipating getting any of the Johnson & Johnson vaccine until late this month at the absolute earliest.

“I’m not sure whether or not the reports of blood clots in the United States will impact that timeframe at all.”

Hinshaw said Alberta was to receive a “small volume” of the vaccine.

In a statement to CTV News Edmonton, the Alberta’s ministry of health said they are still awaiting details from federal partners on how many Johnson & Johnson vaccines the province can expect. 

Provincial modelling expected that the Johnson & Johnson vaccine would help Alberta reach higher rates of immunity – especially since it is a vaccine offering full immunization after only one dose. 

Premier Jason Kenney has previously said that he expects things to be “back to normal” mid-September and that restrictions during the summer could be lifted as more people receive vaccines.

He added that those goals rely on steady vaccine supply to be secured by Ottawa.

Health Canada said Tuesday that it is closely monitoring the U.S. decisions about the Johnson & Johnson vaccine and has asked Janssen – the pharmaceutical company producing the vaccine – for information about the rare blood clotting events.

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