Ottawa, March 30: Canada on Monday suspended the use of AstraZeneca's COVID-19 vaccine for people under 55 years of age. The National Advisory Committee on Immunisation had recommended the suspension for safety reasons. The decision to suspend the use of AstraZeneca's vaccine against the deadly virus was taken following reports that the shot could cause blood clots. COVID-19 Vaccine Update: Sweden Stops Use of AstraZeneca Vaccine Amid Reports of Blood Clots in Some Recipients.
"There is substantial uncertainty about the benefit of providing AstraZeneca Covid-19 vaccines to adults under 55 given the potential risks," reported Associated Press quoting Dr Shelley Deeks, vice-chair of the National Advisory Committee on Immunisation. Deeks told the global news agency that most of the patients in Europe who developed a rare blood clot after getting vaccinated with AstraZeneca's vaccine were women under age 55.
Earlier this month, Canada received the first shipment of AstraZeneca of 500,000 doses from India. Canada's most populous province Ontario received over 194,000 doses of the vaccine. Canada is also expected to receive 1.5 million doses of AstraZeneca's COVID-19 vaccine on Wednesday. COVID-19 Vaccine Update: AstraZeneca Releases Updated US Trial Results, Claims 76% Efficacy of Its Coronavirus Vaccine.
Notably, several European countries, including Germany, Italy, Sweden and France, suspended the emergency use of the vaccine developed by the British-Swedish drugmaker following several cases of blot clotting in people who received the jab. Meanwhile, the vaccine is used widely in Britain.
Last week, AstraZeneca released a new study of up-to-date results for its United States trial in which it revealed that its COVID-19 vaccine was 76 percent against the deadly virus. Till Now, AstraZeneca has been granted conditional marketing or emergency use authorisation in over 70 countries.