According to NACI vice-chair Shelley Deeks, there was a “safety signal” about the AstraZeneca vaccine’s side effects. According to her, the committee decided to put the drug on hold until more information became available.
Health Canada has requested that manufacturers provide more information about the vaccine’s risks and benefits. Deeks stated that they are awaiting data from the United Kingdom and Europe, as well as additional information requested by Health Canada. In a separate interview, B.C. Health Minister Adrian Dix stated that he has seen no evidence of vaccine hesitancy in his province thus far. According to Deeks, the messaging has been “evolving” and “confusing,” but the overall goal is to be as “responsive and transparent” as possible.
Last week, the National Advisory Committee on Immunization issued a directive to halt the use of Astra Zeneca’s vaccine. The decision prompted Health Canada to request from international manufacturers a “detailed assessment of the benefits and risks.” Blood clots or vaccine-induced prothrombotic immune thrombocytopenia are thought to occur in about one out of every million administered vaccines.
“When a safety signal goes up, it means we have to act, and that builds trust in our campaign,” Canadian Prime Minister Justin Trudeau says.
News and picture source: CTV