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April
6
posted by: LIT First Aid on: April 06, 2021

Image by: Mat Napo

 

The AstraZeneca COVID-19 vaccine has been making headlines recently - and unfortunately, not for good reasons. Distribution of the previously-approved vaccine has been put on pause in several countries around the world, including Canada, citing health concerns. Below, we break down the key facts surrounding the AstraZeneca COVID-10 vaccine.

 

Timeline of Events

Health Canada first approved the AstraZeneca vaccine for use in Canada back in February (February 26, to be exact). On March 1, the National Advisory Committee on Immunization (NACI) recommended that the vaccine only be given to people under 65 years of age, citing limited information on the efficacy and safety of the vaccine in people over the age of 65. On March 16, NACI backtracked and stated that they believe AstraZeneca is safe to be given to people over the age of 65. Most recently, on March 29, NACI updated their recommendations once again to state that AstraZeneca should not be given to anyone under the age of 55, due to the concern of blood clots in younger people, especially women. 

 

Current Recommendations

Where are we at now? Most provincial and territorial governments are following NACI’s recommendations and no longer offering the AstraZeneca vaccine to residents under the age of 55. However, distribution of the vaccine has continued for those 55 and older. Investigation into the link between blood clots and the vaccine in Europe are ongoing, and while it does appear to be a rare side effect, the government of Canada isn’t taking any chances for the time being. In the meantime, most provinces currently accepting COVID-19 vaccine appointments are letting residents know which vaccine they have to offer, so that anyone who does not wish to receive the AstraZeneca vaccine can opt out of doing so. Further, once at your appointment, you are not obligated to receive the AstraZeneca vaccine - or any vaccine - should you change your mind. That said, NACI and Health Canada maintain that AstraZeneca is safe for those above 55 years old.

 

Getting vaccinated is the key to ending the global pandemic that has taken over the world for the last year However, having all the information before getting vaccinated is important. You can also stay safe by learning basic first aid. Sign up for the L.I.T. First Aid and Lifeguard Training courses to learn important first aid skills and CPR.

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