Canada pauses AstraZeneca vaccine for under 55

Virus Outbreak AstraZeneca
Posted at 6:28 PM, Mar 29, 2021

TORONTO (AP) — Canada is suspending the use of the Oxford-AstraZeneca coronavirus vaccine for people under age 55 following concerns it may be linked to rare blood clots.

The National Advisory Committee on Immunization recommended the pause for safety reasons and the Canadian provinces announced suspensions Monday.

Quebec said in a news release that the decision was taken in conjunction with the Public Health Agency of Canada as well as provincial and federal vaccine advisory committees.

Health Canada says it has not received any reports of blood clots in Canada, and the department's chief medical adviser says she still believes the vaccine's benefits outweigh the risks.

According to The Associated Press, new data from Europe suggests the risk of blood clots is now one in 100,000, much higher than the one in one million risks believed before.

Women under the age of 55 were those who developed a rare blood clot after vaccination with AstraZeneca and 40% of those who developed blood clots died, The AP reported.