FILE PHOTO: A test tube labelled “vaccine” in front of an AstraZeneca logo in this illustration taken, September 9, 2020. REUTERS/Dado Ruvic/Illustration

MONTREAL (Reuters) -The province of Quebec on Tuesday 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 immunization with the vaccine, but public health officials maintain the benefits of the AstraZeneca shot outweigh the potential risks.

Quebec Public Health Director Horacio Arruda told reporters the death of the patient, a 54-year-old woman, due to thrombosis will not change the province’s vaccination strategy.

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.

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.

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