‘Put it in perspective’: Albertans continue to receive AstraZeneca vaccine

EDMONTON — Despite news of Canada’s second reported instance of rare blood clots linked to the AstraZeneca vaccine, many Albertans continued to receive vaccinations in Edmonton.

The province announced on Saturday a man in his 60s was the first Albertan to be diagnosed with a blood clot linked to the AstraZeneca COVID-19 vaccine.

READ MORE: Alberta doctors find 2nd case of blood clot linked to AstraZeneca vaccine in Canada 

This news did not faze many Albertans at the Edmonton Expo Centre’s COVID-19 vaccination site.

Saturday marked the first day the Expo Centre allowed walk-in immunizations for those eligible.

Stuart Trussler told CTV News Edmonton that he was happy to receive his AstraZeneca vaccine Saturday.

“We can help control the virus,” he said. “I am out and about, I drive trucks all over the place so I can make sure I am not spreading it myself.”

“Some people have a negative reaction to any vaccine. As far as I am concerned it is a low risk.”

Trussler shared how he is a truck driver and can sometimes sit in his vehicle for 60 to 70 hours a week.

“The amount of time I spend sitting driving, I run a bigger risk to getting blood clots in the legs than from the vaccine,” he said. “It’s just better to get the vaccine.”

Kevin and Lisa Rodgers, who both received the AstraZeneca vaccine, encouraged everyone eligible to get a vaccine.

“Given the fact that sooner or later we are all going to need to have one just to make it safe for everyone else – beat the line up.”

The couple said they researched before ultimately deciding to get the vaccine and that people should put the risk of receiving blood clots from an AstraZeneca vaccine in perspective.

“Yes, you have a risk of blood clotting with the AstraZeneca, but you have a higher risk of blood clotting if you get COVID – significantly higher,” Lisa said.

“You need to put it in perspective.”

“You have a less of a chance to get blood clots with AstraZeneca then you do of winning the lottery, yet people go out and buy lottery tickets all the time,” Kevin added.

The couple said the process at the walk-in Expo Centre vaccination clinic was straightforward and quick.

“There’s no lineup, there’s no fuss,” Kevin said. “Just get it done.”

HINSHAW AFFIRMS ASTRAZENECA’S EFFECTIVENESS

In a media availability Saturday discussing the finding of Alberta’s first blood clot linked to the AstraZeneca vaccine Saturday, Chief Medical Officer of Health Deena Hinshaw continued to affirm it’s effectiveness.

“If I were in this age category I would get this vaccine,” she said.

On Thursday, Alberta health officials have acknowledged the province has a hesitancy issue with the AstraZeneca vaccine.

READ MORE: Alta. health officials affirm AstraZeneca safety as hesitancy emerges 

Hinshaw reminded the public in her media availability on Thursday that in general, blood clots happen more frequently than people realize.

“By taking birth control medication, ibuprofen, and many other types of medications, we are also exposing ourselves to an increased risk of experiencing various forms of blood clots, except that risk… is very small, and because it is far outweighed by the benefits that come from getting the treatment or medication we need.

“The same principle applies for this vaccine. AstraZeneca has benefit; it is preventing infection and severe outcomes and the risks are rare,” Hinshaw said.

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