Manitoba not changing AstraZeneca vaccine distribution plans

Manitoba not changing AstraZeneca vaccine distribution plans

Ontario is pausing distribution of the AstraZeneca vaccine for first doses.

Health officials say the risk of the blood clot condition in Ontario is now 1 in 60,000, which is higher than previously thought.

Quebec says that on paper, the AstraZeneca vaccine "is still available for people 45 years of age and older", but there's none in stock.

Tom McMillan, a spokesman for Alberta Health, said there are now no known shipments of the vaccine scheduled to enter the province, leading the province to shift the remaining supply to be administered to people who have already received an initial dose of AstraZeneca.

"Given that we're seeing the overall number of COVID-19 cases going down and an increase in the safety signal, it makes sense to pause AstraZeneca because the risk of severe outcomes with VITT shouldn't be underestimated", she said.

Tuesday also saw Ontario announce plans to pause the rollout and administration of the AstraZeneca vaccine in the province due to an observed increase in vaccine-induced immune thrombotic thrombocytopenia (VITT), a rare blood clotting disorder.

The province's Chief Medical Officer of Health Dr. David Williams said Tuesday they are erring on the side of caution after reports of serious blood clots caused by the shot.

The chair of the National Advisory Committee on Immunization has since said, however, that those who already received a dose of AstraZeneca shouldn't feel like they made a poor choice.

Alberta has administered approximately 255,000 first doses of the AstraZeneca vaccine.

"This decision is based on the fact that we are receiving no known future shipments of AstraZeneca at this time but are receiving large quantities of mRNA vaccines", Alberta Health spokesman Tom McMillan said in an email, referring to messenger RNA vaccines from Moderna and Pfizer/BioNTech. The state government had floated a global tender for 40 million of vaccine doses earlier this month to fulfil its huge requirements.

Guidance for Ontarians who got AstraZeneca as their first shot will be coming soon, Dr. Dirk Huyer, provincial outbreak response coordinator, said.

As a result, Ontario signalled it would likely mix COVID-19 vaccine brands as the country prepares for a flood of Pfizer and Moderna shots while some doctors question further use of AstraZeneca.

Quebec has guaranteed to give residents a second dose within four months of their first.

Briefing journalists, he said the Indian government has given the U.S. a list of raw materials - "we have received a list from the Government of India with a lot of raw materials and other materials that are needed for manufacture of vaccines here in India".

According to Health Canada data, around 1.7 million AstraZeneca doses have been administered in Canada as of April 24.

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