Apr 16, 2021

By Jane Brown

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A critical care doctor in Toronto is urging people to get a COVID-19 vaccine when a shot becomes available to them regardless of the vaccine maker, after he admitted three patients to the ICU who turned down the opportunity to get vaccinated.

Dr. Alex Patel says these three patients were able to get a COVID-19 vaccine, but decided not to, and are now all in hospital with severe infection.

“Most of the people that we see in the ICU don’t have the opportunity to get the vaccine because their number hasn’t come up yet,” Patel told CTV News, “But in this case I actually saw three people in fairly rapid succession, all of them it turns out actually had the chance to get the vaccine, and for various reasons did not get it and because of that unfortunately were admitted to the ICU with serious COVID infection.”

Dr. Patel says side effects are a major concern for those who are hesitant to get vaccinated, particularly the extremely rare blood clots seen with the AstraZeneca vaccine.

He joins all other health experts in saying that getting a blood clot from COVID-19 is “way more” likely than clotting from a vaccine.

Case in point, Dr. Patel said he has diagnosed three people in his ICU this week alone with blood clots from COVID-19.

Currently the AstraZeneca vaccine is being given in a growing number of Ontario pharmacies and doctors offices to people 55 and older.

In fact, there is said to be a surplus of AstraZeneca vaccine.

Members of the National Advisory Committee on Immunization are also reviewing whether to drop the eligibility age for the AstraZeneca vaccine.

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