State suspends AstraZeneca shots for people under 55, BC tightens restrictions

The province of Canada stopped using the Oxford-AstraZeneca COVID-19 vaccine for people under the age of 55 on Monday and acted on the concerns of the Advisory Board on possible associations between shots and rare blood clots.

Meanwhile, British Columbia has announced 2,518 new cases in the last three days and has imposed new public health measures in the next three weeks to slow the rapid spread of the virus.

Dr. Sherry Dikes, Vice-Chairman of Canada’s National Advisory Board on Immunization, said in new data from Europe that the risk of blood clots could now be 1 in 100,000. The Commission said it had updated its recommendations. One million risks previously believed.

Health Canada called on AstraZeneca to conduct a detailed investigation into the risks and benefits of the COVID-19 vaccine across multiple age groups on Monday, and Dikes is a young group until the advisory board results in its review. He said it was recommended to suspend the injection of.

“NACI has determined that there is considerable uncertainty about the benefits of providing the AstraZeneca COVID-19 vaccine to adults under the age of 55, given the potential risks involved,” Dikes said. Stated.

“As a precautionary measure, Health Canada is conducting an up-to-date benefit risk analysis based on new data, but NACI recommends that adults under the age of 55 not use the vaccine.”

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.

The thrombotic condition is known as vaccine-induced thrombosis-promoting immune thrombocytopenia. Dikes said it was treatable, and now that it has been identified and symptoms have been communicated, case fatality rates can be reduced.

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

The department changed the vaccine label last week to warn of the rare risk of blood clots. Sharma said Health Canada has not changed its decision to approve AstraZeneca.

The company said in a statement that the vaccine was safe and effective and was approved by European regulators and Health Canada.

“Two large clinical datasets and vast amounts of data from real-world evidence demonstrate their effectiveness and reaffirm the role that vaccines can play in this public health crisis.” The statement states.

The federal government expects about 1.5 million doses of AstraZeneca vaccine from the United States on Tuesday. It arrives by truck and is the first to arrive from the south of the border.

The state government decides how to use the vaccine on its own, but Dr. Howard Njoo, Canada’s Deputy Chief Medical Officer, said all states and territories would stop using the vaccine for people under the age of 55. Said that he agreed. Survey.

Some states have announced that they will limit the use of vaccines.

The Quebec Department of Health said it has suspended the use of the vaccine for people under the age of 55 as a precautionary measure, saying it is impossible to rule out possible associations with blood clots.

“(European Medicines Agency) still considers this product safe and effective, but the potential link between vaccines and coagulation problems … cannot be completely ruled out at this time,” the state said. Said in.

A medical leader at the Vaccine Task Force in Manitoba said he was seeking more information on some of the harmful symptoms of young people in the UK.

Prince Edward Island and Newfoundland and Labrador also said they have stopped using shots for younger age groups while waiting for new data.

Dr. Heather Morrison, Chief Medical Officer for Health at PEI, said the risk of developing serious problems after being vaccinated is “very low.”

She said that those who received the AstraZeneca vaccine had shortness of breath, chest pain, swelling of the legs, persistent abdominal pain, sudden onset of severe or persistent headache, visual impairment, and skin bruising outside the vaccination site. He said he needed to look for symptoms such as. Up to 20 days after vaccination.

Dr. Dina Hinshaw, Alberta’s Chief Medical Health Officer, said about 900 people under the age of 55 were shot by AstraZeneca in the state. She also said that there is a 16-week gap between the first and second doses, so there is time to gather more evidence around the blood clot before deciding what to do with the second dose. ..

In British Columbia, state health officer Dr. Bonnie Henry said vaccinated people need to be aware of the symptoms of blood clots. In such cases, tests and treatment will be done.

Prime Minister John Horgan added that the increase in the number of cases in his state was “unacceptably high.”

“We can’t blow it off right now,” Hogan said. “We need to double our efforts.”

Strict restrictions do not include indoor dining or group activities for adults in the fitness center for the next three weeks. Whistler Blackcomb Ski Resort has also been closed due to widespread incidents in the community.

AstraZeneca has been plagued by questions about preliminary study data in the United States and confusion about whether it is safe for the elderly.

The vaccine was approved in Canada on February 26 for all people over the age of 18, but NACI then confidently conducted clinical trials on how the vaccine works for people over the age of 65. Said that there were not enough elderly people included in.

Two weeks later, NACI withdrew its advice, citing new real-world evidence from the United Kingdom that the vaccine was highly effective when used in the elderly.

Canada has been given 500,000 doses of AstraZeneca manufactured at the Serum Institute in India, but it is not clear how many doses have been given so far. While many states prioritized use for people aged 60-64, some states focused on younger groups.

Morgan Raleigh and Mia Loveson

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