COVID-19: Canada pauses AstraZeneca shots for people under 55

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      Federal officials are now recommending that the Oxford-AstraZeneca vaccine not be used in adults under 55 years of age.

      The National Advisory Committee on Immunization (NACI) said on Monday (March 29) that it is pausing use of that vaccine due to reports of blood clots reported in Europe, primarily in women under the age of 55.

      “Although cases in men have also been reported and have mostly occurred between four and 16 days after receipt of vaccine,” NACI said, adding it is undertaking further investigation.

      NACI chair Caroline Quach-Thanh told reporters during a press briefing that overall the vaccine is effective in preventing complications and death in older populations based on U.K. studies.

      Canada’s deputy chief public health officer Howard Njoo added that the blood clots are “rare” and that AstraZeneca is considered safe overall.

      He added the government is taking a “prudent” approach by issuing new guidelines.