New restrictions for AZ/Oxford COVID-19 vaccine despite EMA endorsement

BC rolling out AstraZeneca vaccinations for 55 to 65-year-olds in Lower Mainland | News

Health authorities said 7 million doses of AstraZeneca vaccines it has procured through a contract with the pharmaceutical company will be delivered between May and June, adding that talks are under way to expedite the process.

NACI chair Dr. Caroline Quach says for those over 55 - and in particular, those over 70 - the vaccine works well and doesn't seem to have the risk of blood clots they're seeing in younger populations in Europe.

Nearly all cases are reportedly in younger and middle-aged women, prompting several German hospitals to suspend the use of the jab for women under 55 this week.

"What we're doing is trying to contrast the risks and benefits and so, if you have that vaccine and the person [is] having to wait for two months while COVID is ramping and you're at risk of catching it and having complications from it, I think that taking the vaccine is the best option at this point in time", said Quach.

AstraZeneca, an Anglo-Swedish company, said earlier in March its vaccine was 76% effective in preventing symptomatic coronavirus infections in a US trial, and that studies did not indicate higher risks of clotting. AstraZeneca's vaccine took up 791,454, while Pfizer's accounted for 60,748.

Of the 13.8 million doses vaccinated in Germany so far, 75% came from Mainz-based BioNTech, Spahn noted. That was probably predictable given the vein of science denial that runs through the party.

The news of lower efficacy was followed by Health Canada's approval of the vaccine for use in people under age 65, an age determined by a lack of data, not safety issues, he said.

Thierry Breton, who is the EU's internal market commissioner, emphasised that "there is nothing to negotiate" while referring to the EU's ongoing talks over vaccine production.

With the extension, the secured vaccines for the second shots can be used for others for their first shots, they said.

The condition tends to occur between four and 16 days after vaccination. Advice to doctors in the meantime is that each case will require consultation with a hematologist.

At the end of the summit, the bloc´s 27 nations were still locked in a dispute over how an upcoming batch of 10 million doses could be allocated to narrow the vaccine gap between member states, and the leaders chose to push the talks to a future meeting of their ambassadors. There have been a total of 2,209 reports of adverse side effects reported out of a total than 3.68 million doses administered as of March 19.

Resumed using the AstraZeneca vaccine from March 29, but will only give it to people aged 65 and over.

One in five Canadians already hospitalized with COVID-19 develops blood clots.

The Lower Mainland, where the vaccines are being offered, is also the highest transmission area, Dix said. COVID-19 has killed more than 15,000 Canadians so far.

Tuesday's announcement, however, comes shortly after the use of the AstraZeneca COVID-19 vaccine was suspended in Canada for those under 55. "We've all lived in this nightmare for over a year now and we need it to end".

If the panel concludes there's a connection between the clots and Astra's vaccine, the EMA will change its recommendations to patients and health-care officials, Executive Director Emer Cooke said.



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