Canada Stays On AstraZeneca Coronavirus Vaccine Despite US Criticism: Regulators

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Canada Stays On AstraZeneca Coronavirus Vaccine Despite US Criticism: Regulators


OTTAWA, March 23 (Reuters) – Canada on Tuesday said the AstraZeneca COVID-19 vaccine is safe and will continue to be recommended for use despite criticism from U.S. health officials on the drugmaker’s analysis on the effectiveness of the vaccine, health officials said.

“The message is that the vaccine has been shown to be effective and safe,” Marc Berthiaume, a senior Health Canada official, told reporters. “Preventing COVID-19 continues to benefit Canadians. ”

Coronavirus vaccine shipments are increasing in Canada, with some 2 million doses of Pfizer Inc and Moderna Inc vaccines coming this week. The United States has said it will share 1.5 million doses of the AstraZeneca vaccine with Canada as of this week.

The U.S. National Institute for Allergy and Infectious Diseases said on Monday that the board responsible for ensuring the accuracy of AstraZeneca’s latest trial said the company may have given an incomplete view of the effectiveness of the shot. The company has since said it will release updated results from its latest trial within 48 hours.

“We will look at the data set (from the US) in April, and assess and report the results,” said Supriya Sharma, chief medical adviser at Health Canada, the federal Department of Health. “Ultimately, that doesn’t change the AstraZeneca vaccine recommendations at this time. ”

There will be a delay of a day or two in the delivery of Moderna vaccines this week, Alberta’s Chief Medical Officer of Health said on Twitter on Tuesday, adding that reservations for the vaccines will not be affected.

Also on Tuesday, Canada said it would give C $ 23.7 million ($ 18.9 million) to the province of Ontario to open more voluntary isolation sites for those who catch the virus and have need a place to quarantine as cases increase in third wave.

Canada has recorded approximately 940,000 viral infections and more than 22,700 deaths from COVID-19.

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