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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.

Go deeper

Mar 29, 2021 - Health

Moderna ships 100 millionth COVID-19 vaccine dose to U.S. government

Photo: JOSEPH PREZIOSO/AFP via Getty Images

Moderna has shipped 100 million doses of its COVID-19 vaccine to the U.S. government, meeting its Q1 goal for the first tranche of 300 million shots purchased by the U.S., the pharmaceutical company announced Monday.

What's next: Moderna said it expects to meet the rest of its commitment dates to the U.S. government, including another 100 million doses by the end of May and the third set of 100 million doses by the end of July.

Mar 29, 2021 - Health

CDC: Pfizer, Moderna vaccines are 90% effective in real-world conditions

A registered nurse loads a syringe with a dose of the Pfizer COVID-19 vaccine. Photo: Frederic Brown/AFP via Getty Images

People who are fully vaccinated with the mRNA vaccines from Pfizer or Moderna are 90% less likely to get infected with COVID-19, according to a CDC study that tested nearly 4,000 health care workers and other essential workers for the virus weekly.

Why it matters: The data show how well the vaccine performs in non-clinical trial settings. During the mRNA clinical trials for both the Pfizer and Moderna vaccines, effectiveness from full vaccination was about 95%.

Mar 29, 2021 - Axios Des Moines

GOP vaccine hesitancy is a big obstacle for Iowa's herd immunity

Illustration: Brendan Lynch/Axios

Republicans, especially men, are among the most reluctant to receive a COVID vaccine, Iowa and national polls show.

Why it matters: That runs counter to the dominant narrative that minority groups are the most hesitant, as explored last week in a New York Times podcast.