Canada’s vaccine advisory committee says AstraZeneca vaccine is okay for Canadians over 65

By: Thomas I. Likness
EBC News Service

(Eagle News) — Canada’s committee that makes recommendations on vaccines has changed its mind about the AstraZeneca Covid-19 inoculant.

After recommending the product not be used on seniors, the National Advisory Committee on Immunization said Tuesday there is now enough evidence that the AstraZeneca vaccine is effective in people over 65.

“This update is based on results of observational studies of vaccine effectiveness from the United Kingdom released since NACI’s previous recommendations for the use of this vaccine in those 18 to 64 years of age,” the committee said in a statement.

It initially said there wasn’t enough dats from clinical trials to determine whether the vaccine would be effective in older people.

While Health Canada has approved use of AstraZeneca for anyone over the age of 18, the committee took a more cautious approach in the beginning.

The committee adds high-risk groups should be given priority to receive mRNA vaccines such as Pfizer and Moderna. AstraZeneca is a viral vector inoculant.

“While all available vaccines in Canada are safe and effective, NACI still recommends that in the context of limited vaccine supply, initial doses of mRNA vaccines should be prioritized for those at highest risk of severe illness and death and highest risk of exposure to COVID-19,” the committee said.

While more than a dozen European countries have halted immunizaing people with the AstraZeneca vaccine because of reports of blood clots and side effects, Canada insists the vaccine is safe.

There have been no cases of blood clots or side effects reported in Canada.

Prime Minister Justin Trudeau said yesterday Health Canada is monitoring the investigations being done in Europe.
(Eagle News Service)