MONTREAL: The province of Quebec on Tuesday (Apr 27) reported Canada's first death of a patient from a rare blood clot condition after receiving the AstraZeneca COVID-19 vaccine.
Canada has reported at least five cases of blood clots following immunisation with the vaccine, but public health officials maintain the benefits of the AstraZeneca shot outweigh the potential risks.
"I'm sad to know that a healthy 54-year-old woman... died because she was vaccinated. It's hard to take," Francois Legault, the premier of Quebec, told a news conference.
Quebec Public Health Director Horacio Arruda said life-saving treatments did not work and the unidentified patient died of cerebral thrombosis after being vaccinated.
But he cautioned that the death should not change the government's recommendations to use the vaccine for those over 45 years old.
Quebec Health Minister Christian Dubé said the province has vaccinated about 400,000 people with the AstraZeneca shot.
"It's a calculated risk, but evidently when we think of this woman, her family, her close ones ... it's hard," Quebec Premier François Legault said.
As of last Friday, just over 1.1 million AstraZeneca doses had been administered nationwide.
Prime Minister Justin Trudeau received an AstraZeneca shot on Friday.
Faced with a crippling third wave of the virus, several Canadian provinces, including the country's most populous province Ontario recently began offering the AstraZeneca vaccine to people aged 40 and over.
Quebec, where coronavirus cases have recently been declining, allows the vaccine to be used for people aged 45 and over.