Federal Funds to Help Expand Hamilton-Based Laboratory Studying Vaccine-Related Blood Clots – Hamilton | The Canadian News

A McMaster University lab that fights vaccine-related blood clots is getting a push from the federal government to expand its testing center.

$ 1.5 million grant from the Public Health Agency of Canada to McMaster’s Platelet Immunology Laboratory (MPIL) will aid studies on vaccine-induced thrombotic thrombocytopenia (VITT), identified in a small number of vaccine recipients COVID-19.

The affliction came to the fore amid the pandemic when VITT was associated with about 30 patients and five deaths in Canada, but was not definitively linked to the viral vector injections from Oxford-AstraZeneca and Johnson & Johnson.

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According to the Ontario Science Table, a case of VITT usually presents between four and 28 days after vaccination.

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Hamilton-based researchers have been collecting blood samples from VITT patients for diagnostic testing with the onset of the problem in hopes of devising treatments based on the earlier study of heparin-induced thrombocytopenia (HIT), a disorder related to the accumulation of platelets in the blood that causes clots.

“This expansion of world-class rapid laboratory testing here in Canada for suspected vaccine-induced immune thrombocytopenia (VITT) will provide expertise to our international partners and support Canada’s robust vaccine safety surveillance systems.” Federal Health Minister Jean-Yves Duclos said in a statement.

Ishac Nazy, the laboratory’s scientific director and associate professor of medicine, says the research will also support foreign laboratories that are not equipped to diagnose and treat VITT.

“This laboratory is uniquely positioned as a true translational medical facility; we investigated the mechanisms of the disease using blood samples from patients. This allows us to design diagnostic tests and new therapies that have already saved patients’ lives, ”Nazy said in a statement.

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Canada has had few new cases of VITT since late May after several provinces, including Ontario, cut their use of the vaccine.

However, the lab’s co-medical director, Donald Arnold, said MPIL has been handling blood samples from patients from abroad, most recently from Brazil.

“We are well positioned as a national data repository and reference laboratory, serving both our country and the world in the surveillance, diagnosis and treatment of VITT,” said Arnold.

“Doctors are still on high alert for clotting caused by adenovirus-vector vaccines.”

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