Canada’s most populous province, Ontario, on Tuesday suspended use of the AstraZeneca Covid vaccine as the first dose, citing new data showing increased risk of blood clotting.
The move follows the Province of Alberta’s announcement to also stop administering the vaccine due to possible supply shortages.
The two provinces combined represent half of the population of Canada.
“Effective today, Ontario will suspend the deployment and administration of the first doses of the AstraZeneca vaccine for the time being,” Ontario Chief Medical Officer of Health David Williams told a news conference .
“This decision was taken with great caution due to an observed increase in the rare blood coagulation disease known as vaccine-induced immune thrombotic thrombocytopenia linked to the AstraZeneca vaccine,” he said. declared.
Ontario has administered over 650,000 doses of AstraZeneca. Prime Minister Justin Trudeau and his wife Sophie were among the recipients.
In Canada, at least 12 cases of coagulation have been confirmed out of more than two million doses of AstraZeneca administered. Three women died from coagulation.
Previously, Alberta – with the highest number of Covid cases per capita of any Canadian province or US state – changed its immunization strategy, saying it did not know when it would receive additional shipments of the AstraZeneca vaccine .
“Given the global supply issues, we don’t know when we will have additional supply,” Alberta Chief Medical Officer of Health Deena Hinshaw said on Twitter.
The province administered approximately 255,000 AstraZeneca jabs.
So far, nearly 20 million Canadians or 40% of the population have received at least one dose of AstraZeneca, Moderna or Pfizer.
© 2021 AFP