Canada’s National Advisory Committee on Immunization recommended on Monday that AstraZeneca Covid-19 vaccine should not be used in adults below the age of 55, whilst the Committee releases rare cases of severe blood clots following vaccination.
Recently, in Europe after the application of AstraZeneca vaccine in the post-licensing application, rare cases of serious blood clots, mainly in women under the ages of 55, were found in the following cases: prothrombotic immune thrombocytopenia (VIPIT).
The rate of this adverse event has still to be confirmed and more accurate information is collected according to the vaccine committee.
“Following population-based analyses of VIPIT assessing risk of COVID-19 disease by age, and considering that alternate products are available (i.e., mRNA vaccines), from what is known at this time, there is substantial uncertainty about the benefit of providing AstraZeneca COVID-19 vaccine to adults under 55 years of age given that the potential risks associated with VIPIT, particularly at the lower estimated rates,” committee officials said.
The Committee recommends that the vaccine not be offered to adults younger than 55, but will remain reassessed based on the rapidly evolving evidence, as part of the risk versus benefit analysis updated by Service Canadian agencies.
As only a small proportion of Covid-19 vaccines available for use in Canada was anticipated to form AstraZeneca, the committee said that the vaccines “were not considerably delayed.”
In a comment, but not an immediate response, CNN reached the drug administrator.
Astra Zeneca’s vaccine development has been multiplied, since two volunteers developed neurological symptoms in several European countries last fall to a vaccine roll-out stop, in the fear of blood clots.
Since then, there is no evidence that the vaccine can cause blood coagulation, says the European Medicines Agency.
Managing Director of the agency, Emer Cooke, said the agency “became to a clear scientific conclusion several weeks ago: this is a safe and effective vaccine.”
Cooke said that the group had found no clotting vaccine, but the link could not be definitively excluded from the vaccine with a rare blood clotting disorder, of which seven out of a million doses were reported. The advantages of the vaccine were above the risk. She said.
A Committee of the Agency “concluded that the vaccine was not linked to an increased risk of total thromboembolic events or blood clots,” Cooke said.
The use of the vaccine had stopped in over a dozen European countries. Some countries have resumed vaccinations, others have paused.
There is no relation between vaccine and common coagulation disorders, the World Health Organisation also says.
In recent weeks, Canada was given a boost by the administration of Biden by reaching an agreement that will allow the United States to release 1,5 million of its AstraZeneca doses to Canada. The US stores AstraZeneca until it is approved by the FDA, which is unlikely to happen at least next month.
Since the onset of the pandemic Canada has reported nearly 970,000 cases of alleged or confirmed coronavirus, recording over 22,000 deaths.