AstraZeneca shots have been halted in most of the country, including the provinces of Ontario, Quebec and British Columbia, after the nation's vaccine advisory committee recommended that public health authorities stop giving it people under 55 years old.
It was not immediately clear why that is being recommended but several European countries that had suspended using the vaccine over concerns it could cause blood clots have resumed administering it after the EU's drug regulator said the vaccine was safe.
Ontario announced Monday afternoon it will suspend the use of the AstraZeneca vaccine among younger patients below the age of 55.
Westphal says many who have received the AstraZeneca shot are feeling uneasy amid reports of blood clots.
NACI indicates that cases have primarily been in women under the age of 55, although cases in men have been reported as well, and mostly occurring between four and 16 days after receipt of the vaccine.
"... To date no cases of these events have been reported in Canada".
NACI said that despite the suspension, Canada is still expected to receive enough vaccine doses to be able to fully vaccinate the population by autumn of this year.
Anyone who has received a vaccine, just like anyone who takes medication, should monitor their health for side effects, Hinshaw said. However, through our ongoing global collaboration, Health Canada has become aware that additional cases of these events have been reported in Europe.
Dr. Deena Hinshaw, Alberta's chief medical officer of health, said the temporary pause is the result of the robust safety monitoring working properly.
In light of this "evolving" information, Health Canada said it will be issuing additional terms and conditions on the authorizations of the AstraZeneca and Verity Pharmaceuticals/Serum Institute of India vaccines. "Health Canada will be reviewing this evidence when available".
The province will carry on with injections for those between 55 and 64 because, as Reimer said, the risks of catching the virus and the severe outcomes it can lead to outweighs the risk of the rare blood-clotting events. "The more people that get the vaccine the sooner we can go back to normal life".
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