Wednesday, October 20, 2021
ADVT 
National

Alberta stops AstraZeneca first doses

Darpan News Desk The Canadian Press, 11 May, 2021 10:10 AM
  • Alberta stops AstraZeneca first doses

Alberta says it won't give out more first doses of the Oxford-AstraZeneca vaccine for the time being.

A spokesman for the provincial health department says the decision was made because there aren't any confirmed shipments of AstraZeneca coming, and the province only has 8,400 doses of it left.

As such, they will save what they have for second doses.

"Unlike with AstraZeneca, Alberta is receiving the Pfizer and Moderna vaccines in large and consistent shipments," said Alberta Health assistant communications director Tom McMillan.

"More than 236,000 doses are arriving this week alone."

Alberta appears to be the first province to officially take AstraZeneca out of the offerings for first doses but it likely won't be the last. There are ongoing safety concerns for AstraZeneca but the decision is coming largely due to the practical realities of supply.

More than 18 million doses of Pfizer-BioNTech are expected between now and the end of June, and somewhere between eight and 10 million doses of Moderna. Another 15 million doses of Pifzer and between 26 million and 28 million doses of Moderna will be shipped by the end of September.

Comparatively, Canada expects 1.65 million doses of AstraZeneca by June 30, and about 20 million more AstraZeneca by the end of September.

Pfizer and Moderna are sending more than enough to vaccinate every Canadian with two doses.

Many provinces, including Ontario, are eagerly awaiting results of a clinical trial in the United Kingdom looking at giving a different vaccine for the second dose. That would allow people who got AstraZeneca first to be given Pfizer or Moderna for their second dose.

The first results looking at combining AstraZeneca and Pfizer could come this week and most health experts say the combination of vaccines may create an even better immune response.

AstraZeneca is potentially linked to a new blood clotting syndrome known as vaccine-induced thrombotic thrombocytopenia or VITT. The syndrome is extremely rare but can be fatal, and the real risk is still being determined.

The Ontario Science Table said Monday the reported incidents globally are between one in 26,000 and one in 127,000.

In Canada, at least 12 cases have been confirmed out of more than two million doses given. Three women have died.

The National Advisory Committee on Immunization says people at low risk of COVID-19 should wait until they can get a dose from Pfizer-BioNTech or Moderna.

Dr. Andrew Morris, an infectious diseases physician and director of the antimicrobial stewardship program at Sinai Health in Toronto, said given what we now know of the risk of VITT combined with greater supply of Pfizer and Moderna, and lower incidence of COVID-19 in most of Canada, the benefits of the AstraZeneca vaccine no longer outweigh the risks in most of Canada.

He said if COVID-19 hot spots in places like Toronto, Brampton, Winnipeg, and much of Alberta can't get enough doses of Pfizer or Moderna, then AstraZeneca still is a good choice there.

"Everywhere else, it no longer makes sense based on what we know, to give AZ vaccine," he said on Twitter.

MORE National ARTICLES

Vaccine confidence in Canada holds steady: poll

Vaccine confidence in Canada holds steady: poll

It also suggests Canadians are largely open to the idea of vaccine passports but support them more for travel than for everyday activities like dining out or going to a concert or shopping mall.

Vaccine confidence in Canada holds steady: poll

Health providers urge feds to fund pharmacare

Health providers urge feds to fund pharmacare

Dr. Melanie Bechard, a pediatric emergency room physician and chair of Doctors for Medicare, says she was disappointed at the lack of new funding for pharmacare in the budget. 

Health providers urge feds to fund pharmacare

B.C. doctors warned to stick to COVID-19 guidance

B.C. doctors warned to stick to COVID-19 guidance

The statement says the college and authority have become aware that some B.C. physicians oppose vaccines and are spreading "misinformation" about mask wearing, physical distancing and lockdowns.

B.C. doctors warned to stick to COVID-19 guidance

COVID-19 progress slows as some provinces struggle

COVID-19 progress slows as some provinces struggle

Canada is scheduled to receive two million doses of the Pfizer-BioNTech COVID-19 vaccine this week, allowing provinces continue to ramp up their immunization efforts.

COVID-19 progress slows as some provinces struggle

Pandemic election bill inches forward

Pandemic election bill inches forward

The move means Bill C-19 will be put to a second reading vote Tuesday, allowing it to be referred to a House of Commons committee for greater scrutiny and potential amendments.

Pandemic election bill inches forward

20 COVID19 deaths over 3 days

20 COVID19 deaths over 3 days

There have been 15 people over the age of 70 that have died in last 3 days from COVID. Three people in their 50s, 2 people in their 40s. About 1 million vaccine is set to arrive in BC over the next 3 weeks. More than 300,000 people have registered for vaccine in the next week.

20 COVID19 deaths over 3 days

PrevNext