Canada has suspended use of the Oxford / AstraZeneca coronavirus vaccine for young adults as a “precautionary measure” following concerns in Europe the vaccine could be linked to rare blood clots.
The National Advisory Committee on Immunization said in a declaration On Monday, he recommended that the AstraZeneca vaccine “not be used in adults under the age of 55 at present”, while the role of the vaccine in “rare cases of serious blood clots” is further investigated.
The cases of these blood clots, recently reported in Europe in people who had taken the AstraZeneca vaccine, were “predominantly” in women under the age of 55, although some cases in men have occurred, Naci said in his press release. “The rate of this adverse event has yet to be confirmed,” he said.
Supriya Sharma, Chief Medical Advisor for Health Canada, told a press conference on Monday that authorities “still do not have enough information” to say whether the risks outweigh the benefits for young adults , but added that for people aged 80 and over, “We see that it works pretty well.”
Canadian provinces, including Manitoba and Prince Edward Island, have said they will immediately suspend use of the AstraZeneca vaccine in young adults.
Earlier this month, more than a dozen European countries suspended or restricted the use of the AstraZeneca vaccine after a rare and severe combination of blood clots in the brain, low platelet count and bleeding were seen in a number limited number of patients. Some of the patients died. The UK has also recorded some of these cases, but has not discontinued or restricted the use of fire.
The European Medicines Agency investigated whether there was a link between the shot and the overall risk of blood clots, but determined that there was not. However, the regulator has left the door open to the existence of a possible link between the rare combination of side effects and the vaccine. Surveillance is continuing, but most countries have resumed administration of the vaccine.
The hiatus has dealt a blow to Europe’s struggling vaccination campaign, which lags behind that of the US and UK. Throughout the crisis, the EMA and the World Health Organization have reiterated that the vaccine’s benefits outweigh its potential risks – even though a link between rare and severe blood clots and the vaccine is ultimately shown. .
AstraZeneca stressed that its vaccine is safe and has been given to millions of people around the world, with concrete and clinical evidence showing that it is safe and effective.