MONTREAL – Francine Boyer has been identified as the 54-year-old Quebecer who died from a blood clot after she received the AstraZeneca COVID-19 vaccine.
Boyer is the first fatality in Canada linked to the shot.
Alain Serres, Boyer’s husband, confirmed her identity in a press release Tuesday night after Quebec Public Health Director Dr. Horacio Arruda confirmed the death at a government update on the COVID-19 situation earlier in the day.
“It is with great sorrow that Mr. Alain Serres confirms the death of his wife, Mrs. Francine Boyer, 54, on April 23 at the Montreal Neurological Institute-Hospital,” the statement said.
Boyer and her husband received the AstraZeneca vaccine on April 9th, and in the days that followed, she began to experience headaches and severe fatigue. The statement said Serres did not develop side effects.
She went to a nearby hospital before being transferred to the Montreal Neurological Institute as her condition worsened; she died of cerebral thrombosis on April 23rd.
Her family is asking for privacy through their press release. Her husband posted to social media, “I love you and I will love you forever!”
Serres encouraged people who get the vaccine to stay alert for symptoms or unusual reactions and to contact Info-Santé (811) if in doubt.
At the Tuesday press conference, Arruda said that this was a sad but rare event.
“We knew that it might happen. We have a risk of default one in every 100,000 doses today,” he said, adding that the benefits outweigh the risks.
“People don’t get vaccinated to die. It’s rare, and we can’t predict it, but for the population at large, vaccination remains beneficial.”
More than 400,000 people have been vaccinated with the AstraZeneca vaccine in the province so far.
Premier Francois Legault said Tuesday Boyer’s death was “hard to take.”
“I’m sad to know that a 54-year-old woman, in good shape … died because she was vaccinated.”
With files from The Canadian Press