NATIONAL VACCINE PANEL RETHINKS GUIDANCE ON ASTRAZENECA COVID SHOT FOR PEOPLE 65-PLUS

Mar 12, 2021

By Jane Brown

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We’re learning members of the National Advisory Committee on Immunization are reconsidering their position on the AstraZeneca COVID-19 vaccine for older people.

Currently, the advice in Canada is to offer the AZ vaccine to people 64 and under based on a lack of evidence of it’s efficacy on those 65 and older.

Here in Ontario, pilot projects in select pharmacies and doctors offices are rolling out, offering the AstraZeneca vaccine to the 60-64 age.

The chair of NACI says committee members met this week to review new data about the effectiveness of the AstraZeneca vaccine in seniors and an updated statement on its use would be issued in a few days.

NACI’s counterparts in France and Germany have reversed earlier similar guidance and have now sanctioned AstraZeneca’s use for people 65 and older.

Meantime, a Health Canada statement says they are monitoring European investigations into the AstraZeneca vaccine after reports of blood clots following inoculations.

It says the AZ vaccine has been authorized based on Canada’s stringent safety, efficacy and quality requirements.

At least nine European countries are pausing their use of AstraZeneca’s doses pending further investigations of blood clots, though none suggest there is a link between the two.

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