There are mechanisms in place in Canada to investigate and share reports of serious adverse events following the COVID-19 vaccination.NACI recommends that the AstraZeneca COVID-19 vaccine should not be used in adults under 55 years of age at this time while the safety signal of Vaccine-Induced Prothrombotic Immune Thrombocytopenia (VIPIT) following vaccination with AstraZeneca COVID-19 vaccine is investigated further.
This is based on evidence of rare cases of serious blood clots, vaccine-induced pro-thrombotic immune thrombocytopenia (VIPIT), which has a high case fatality rate and other serious consequences. At the moment, there is considerable uncertainty about the benefit of administering the vaccine to adults under the age of 55.
Adults 55 and older may still be offered the vaccine, given the increased risk of hospitalization and death in this age group, and because VIPIT reports in this age group have been even rarer. The Chief Medical Officers of Health are taking decisive action to halt the use with a unified position.
VIPIT can have serious consequences, including death. For the time being, you do not need a second dose for up to 16 weeks after your first. The type of second dose offered to those who have been vaccinated with AstraZeneca will be determined using the most recent evidence and research. NACI will review evidence as it becomes available in order to advise public health programs on the possibility of completing the vaccine series with other vaccine products. The Chief Medical Officers of Health are aligned and collaborating closely to review and act on new evidence.
The Council of Chief Medical Officers of Health is comprised of the Chief Medical Officer of Health from each province and territory, Canada’s Chief Public Health Officer, the Chief Medical Advisor of Health Canada, the Chief Medical Officer of Public Health of Indigenous Services Canada, the Chief Medical Officer of the First Nations Health Authority, and ex-officio members from other organizations.