Mar 29, 2021 - World

Canada suspends use of AstraZeneca vaccine

Canadian Prime Minister Justin Trudeau. Photo: David Kawai/Bloomberg via Getty Images
Canadian Prime Minister Justin Trudeau. Photo: David Kawai/Bloomberg via Getty Images

Canada is suspending use of the AstraZeneca coronavirus vaccine for people under 55 due to concerns that the shot could cause blood clots, ABC News reports.

Why it matters: AstraZeneca's COVID-19 vaccine has been put on hold throughout parts of Europe and has not yet received its emergency use authorization in the U.S. Canada is also facing a relatively slow vaccine rollout, with just 1.8% of its population being fully vaccinated, Bloomberg News notes.

  • Canada's National Advisory Committee on Immunization made the recommendation to halt AstraZeneca vaccine distributions.
  • Pfizer, Moderna and Johnson & Johnson vaccines are also authorized in Canada. The U.S. is set to send Canada 1.5 million doses of AstraZeneca vaccines this week.

Between the lines: Dr. Joss Reimer, a member Manitoba’s Vaccine Implementation Task Force, said on Monday that there have been no instances of blood clots tied to the vaccine in Canada, but that the pause is "out of abundance of caution."

  • "While we still believe the benefits for all ages outweigh the risks, I’m not comfortable with 'probably.' I want to see more data coming out of Europe so I know exactly what this risk-benefit analysis is," Reimer said.
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