NACI says AstraZeneca vaccine now recommended for use on seniors

Brenda Watkins
March 18, 2021

The suspensions have marred the global vaccine drive aimed at ending a year-long pandemic that has already killed more than 2.6 million people around the world since it first emerged in China in late 2019.

Today the United Kingdom regulator, following a rigorous scientific review of all the available data, said that the available evidence does not suggest that blood clots in veins (venous thromboembolism) are caused by COVID-19 Vaccine AstraZeneca.

The five people were men aged 19 to 59 who experienced a clot together with low blood platelet count.

Dr Datta added that vaccine rollout should not be "a race between countries".

The head of the European Medicines Agency said this week that the drug regulator's priority was confirming the vaccine is safe and that it would consider a range of actions, including if extra warnings needed to be added to the AstraZeneca vaccine.

Several countries from France to Venezuela to Indonesia said they would not use the vaccine after several reports emerged of blood clots and brain haemorrhages in people who had received the vaccine.

For example, the vaccines developed by Pfizer and Moderna have been linked with increased risk of anaphylaxis, but they are still recommended because benefits outweigh the risks of the side effect, which can be treated.

Our thorough and careful review, alongside the critical assessment of leading, independent scientists, shows that there is no evidence that that blood clots in veins is occurring more than would be expected in the absence of vaccination, for either vaccine.

Canada has said health experts are sure all COVID-19 vaccines being administered in the country are safe, including AstraZeneca's.

And Poland announced a three-week partial lockdown of its own, while Papua New Guinea's minister for health Jelta Wong issued an urgent appeal for vaccines to stave off a wave of new infections.

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Both the EMA and the World Health Organization have said there is no current evidence to suggest the vaccine was responsible and that the benefits of immunization far outweighed the potentially small risk.

British regulators said Thursday that people should keep getting AstraZeneca's COVID-19 vaccine following its review of data on patients who suffered from blood clots after getting the shot.

In Japan, a governmental recommendation for use of human papillomavirus (HPV) vaccine to prevent cervical cancer has been suspended since June 2013, due to media reports of an alleged pain syndrome.

A spokeswomen for Germany's vaccine authority, which is part of the investigation, said EMA would not rule on causality.

Léger executive vice-president Christian Bourque said concerns about the Oxford-AstraZeneca vaccine don't seem to be on Canadians' minds.

It is now a vital part of Covax, which was set up to procure Covid-19 vaccines and ensure their equitable distribution around the world.

"So our vaccination campaign is going ahead and it must accelerate".

"What we don't know is whether these have been caused by the vaccines". "And this is at a time when we need to stop the virus circulating to the reduce the chances of further variants emerging".

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