Canada suspends AstraZeneca vaccine under age 55

Toronto — Canada stopped using the Oxford-AstraZeneca coronavirus vaccine on people under the age of 55 on Monday due to concerns that it may be associated with a rare blood clot.

The National Advisory Committee on Immunization has recommended a suspension for safety reasons, and the Canadian province, which controls national health, announced the suspension on Monday.

“Given the potential risks, there is considerable uncertainty about the benefits of providing the AstraZeneca Covid-19 vaccine to adults under the age of 55,” said Vice-Chairman of the National Advisory Committee on Immunization. One Dr. Sherry Dikes said.

According to Dikes, the updated recommendations suggest that the risk of blood clots can now reach one in 100,000, much higher than the previously believed one in one million risk in Europe. It is said to be in the new data from.

She said that most European patients who develop rare blood clots after vaccination with AstraZeneca are women under the age of 55, and the case fatality rate of those who develop blood clots is as high as 40 percent.

Dr. Jos Laimer of the Manitoba Vaccination Task Force found that the risk of blood clots associated with AstraZeneca in Europe was not increased overall, but with rare but very serious side effects. He said it was mainly found in young women in Europe.

Rare types of blood clots usually occur between 4 and 20 days after an attack, and symptoms may reflect a stroke or heart attack, according to Reimer.

“We still believe that the benefits of all ages outweigh the risks that I’m probably uncomfortable with. I want to see more data coming out of Europe, so why is this risk-benefit analysis? I know exactly if there is one, “says Reimer.

Approved in more than 70 countries, AstraZeneca Shot is a pillar of a UN-supported project known as COVAX aimed at delivering the COVID-19 vaccine to poorer countries. It is also an important tool for European countries to help their vaccines lag behind. It creates suspicion about shots that are of particular concern.

“There were ups and downs in this vaccine. It looks like a jet coaster,” said Dr. Caroline Quatchan, chairman of the National Advisory Committee on Immunization, asking if the latest news could lead to further vaccine evasion. I said when I was vaccinated.

Health Canada said it had not received reports of blood clots in Canada, and Dr. Supriya Sharma, the ministry’s chief medical adviser, said he still believed that the benefits of the vaccine outweighed the risks.

Last week, the department changed the vaccine label to warn of the rare risk of blood clots.

Only people over the age of 60 received AstraZeneca in Canada’s most populous state, Ontario.

Dr. David Williams, Chief Medical Officer of Ontario, said:

After EU drug regulators said the vaccine was safe, some European countries that had stopped using the vaccine due to concerns that it could cause blood clots resumed vaccination.

Vaccines are widely used in the United Kingdom, the continent of Europe and other countries, but due to inconsistent research reports on their effectiveness and, more recently, fear of blood clots that have been temporarily suspended in some countries. I was bothered.

Canada will receive 1.5 million doses of AstraZeneca from the United States on Wednesday.

“The message was cruel overall. I’m afraid of toast. Dr. Andrew Morris, a professor of infectious diseases at the University of Toronto and medical director of the Antimicrobial Stewardship Program at the University of Toronto Health Network, said: I will.

Morris is at high risk of adverse consequences of COVID-19, saying that people over the age of 55 need to get AstraZeneca when no other vaccine is available, especially during the third wave of coronavirus infection. thinking about.

Canadian regulators have approved vaccines for Pfizer, Moderna, AstraZeneca, Johnson & Johnson. Canada is making big bets on Pfizer and Moderna, ordering up to 76 million Pfizer and up to 44 million Moderna compared to up to 20 million AstraZeneca. It is unknown when Canada will receive the first Johnson & Johnson shipment.

Canada received its first shipment of AstraZeneca this month. 500,000 doses from India. Of the 194,500 doses that Ontario received, about 10,000 remain. They will expire on April 2nd.

The National Advisory Committee on Immunization previously recommended a four-month delay between doses after data from the United Kingdom and Quebec showed a good level of protection provided by the first shot. The UK has a similar delay.

Rob Gillies