EDMONTON — Family and friends say a woman from Edmonton has died after receiving the AstraZeneca vaccine in late April.
Tuesday night, the Chief Medical Officer of Health Dr. Deena Hinshaw announced the vaccine-induced death of an Alberta woman in her 50s online.
“My apologies for sharing this sad news so late, but we’d promised to alert Albertans as soon as possible in such confirmed instances,” she said.
Hinshaw and Alberta Health would not confirm the woman’s identity, but family and friends say her name was Lisa Stonehouse, a 52-year-old mother from Edmonton.
“She deserved more,” Wilfred Lowenberg said.
Lowenberg told CTV News he’s the godfather to Stonehouse’s 19-year-old daughter, Jordan, and was a best friend of her late father, Morrie Stonehouse.
According to him, Lisa received her first shot of AstraZeneca on April 21 and developed an adverse reaction shortly after.
“She was an amazing woman,” Lowenberg said.
“She put everyone first ahead of herself, especially her daughter.
“Probably the best, one of the best mothers I’ve ever seen.”
This was the second of three confirmed fatal cases of vaccine-induced thrombotic thrombocytopenia (VITT) in Canada and the only death in Alberta linked to AstraZeneca.
The other two cases involved a 54-year-old woman in Quebec in late April and a woman in her 60s in New Brunswick on Wednesday after spending weeks in hospital.
“I guess it’s a one in a million thing,” Lowenberg said. “But obviously Lisa was a one in a million person.”
“Her daughter didn’t deserve this, and neither did her parents.
“Her parents lost their only daughter, and no parent should have to suffer through that, just as no child of Jordan’s age should have to lose both her parents before the age of 20.”
According to Hinshaw, 253,000 doses of AstraZeneca or CoviShield have been administered in the province to date.
The top doctor is reminding people that the risk of death or severe outcomes from a vaccine is extremely rare.
According to Alberta Health Services, the global frequency of VITT has been estimated at approximately one case in 100,000 to 250,000 doses of vaccine.
Albertans aged 50 to 59 who are diagnosed with COVID-19 are 350 times more likely to die from the disease than to experience fatal complications after receiving an AstraZeneca vaccine.
“My thoughts are with the patient’s family and all of her loved ones,” Tyler Shandro, the minister of health, said on Wednesday.
“It’s a tragedy for them, and I realize it may be a shock to anyone who has been vaccinated or who is thinking about it. Because of that, it’s important to be clear this does not change the relative risks of vaccination or the message that people need to get vaccinated.”