Dr Deena Hinshaw said people under 55 who have already received the AstraZeneca vaccine are not considered to be at high risk for blood clots.
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Alberta is temporarily suspending the use of the AstraZeneca COVID-19 vaccine for people under the age of 55, following reports of blood clots in European patients.
Dr Deena Hinshaw, the province’s chief medical officer of health, said the move was a precautionary measure taken across the country after Canada’s National Immunization Advisory Committee issued a new recommendation on Monday that the vaccine Oxford-AstraZeneca COVID-19 should not be used. on those under 55 as reports of blood clots are studied.
“Although all available data shows no increased overall risk of blood clots for those who receive AstraZeneca, in a very small number of people who received the vaccine, a blood clot in the brain was reported four to 20 days later. the vaccine, ”Hinshaw says.
“These incidents are rare and, at this point, appear to be related to AstraZeneca, possibly through an immune response.”
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She said no blood clots have been reported after vaccination in Alberta or elsewhere in Canada.
“However, safety is always our top priority,” Hinshaw said. “This break will allow Health Canada to conduct further assessments and gather more information from around the world.”
Hinshaw said people under 55 who have already received the AstraZeneca vaccine are not considered to be at high risk for blood clots.
“I want to assure you that this temporary hiatus is the result of our strong security oversight working as it should.”
Alberta has vaccinated people under the age of 65 with COVIShield, the brand name for a vaccine produced by the Serum Institute of India that Health Canada considers equivalent to AstraZeneca.
Hinshaw said about 900 people under the age of 55 in Alberta received their first dose of the AstraZeneca vaccine. No one has received a second dose yet.
The province expects a shipment of 175,400 doses of the AstraZeneca vaccine this week. Hinshaw said the vaccine will continue to be offered to people over 55.
“We know AstraZeneca, from real world evidence, is very effective in preventing severe COVID-19 outcomes, which is why we believe it is a good option for people at high risk of these outcomes. serious, when there are any. very low risk (for) these vaccine-related adverse events, ”Hinshaw said.
With the break on AstraZeneca, Hinshaw said, depending on the arrival of shipments of Pfizer and Moderna vaccines, the province still believes it can meet the goal of providing all adults with their first dose of a vaccine. COVID-19 by the end of June.
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The cases, the cases of variants continue to increase
Alberta reported 545 new cases of COVID-19 on Monday. About 8,300 tests have been performed in the last 24 hours for a positive rate of 6.5%.
There are currently 7,922 active cases of COVID-19 across the province.
Another 249 new cases of worrying variants of COVID-19 have also been reported. About 27% of active COVID-19 cases in the province are worrisome variants. Alberta has more variant cases than any other province.
There are 288 people currently hospitalized with COVID-19 and of these, 64 are in intensive care units.
No new deaths have been reported and the death toll in the province remains at 1,983.
More Albertans eligible for shooting on Tuesday
Meanwhile, Phase 2B of the province’s COVID-19 vaccination program begins Tuesday for anyone with underlying health conditions that put them at high risk of serious consequences if they contract COVID-19.
With nearly a million people in phase 2B, Hinshaw said this was the largest group eligible for vaccination. This means the province will have to act slowly as new doses arrive.
“Albertans born in 1963 or earlier with underlying health conditions can book appointments at participating pharmacies in Calgary, Edmonton and Red Deer,” Hinshaw said. “Pharmacies in other communities will start booking later next week as more doses arrive.”
On April 5, Albertans born in 1957, 1958 and 1959 with one or more of the underlying high-risk health conditions will also be able to make appointments with Alberta Health Services.
Additional birth years will become eligible as more vaccines arrive.
Eligible people include cancer patients, transplant recipients and people with severe disabilities. A complete list of those eligible for Phase 2B is available at alberta.ca/vaccine.
At the end of the day on Sunday, 608,032 doses of vaccine were administered, or 13,750.5 doses per 100,000 people. There are 97,561 fully immunized Albertans.
To learn more about vaccine deployment in Alberta, read our guide focused on reader questions.