A sign is seen during a COVID-19 walk-in in Montreal on Wednesday, April 21, 2021. THE CANADIAN PRESS / Paul Chiasson
The chairman of the National Advisory Committee on Immunization says people who have already received the Oxford-AstraZeneca vaccine should not feel like they made a bad choice.
Dr. Caroline Quach and the 15 other NACI members were accused of sowing seeds of confusion and reluctance to immunize when they recommended for the second time that Canadians who are not at high risk of COVID -19 may want to wait to get vaccinated until a dose of Pfizer-BioNtech or Moderna is available.
AstraZeneca and the Johnson & Johnson vaccine are believed to be at risk for new vaccine-induced blood clotting syndrome, which is extremely rare but very serious and sometimes fatal.
In a statement, Quach says NACI’s message was not intended to make AstraZeneca recipients remorseful, noting that the first dose has similar success in preventing hospitalization and death from COVID-19 in one. dose of Pfizer or Moderna.
She says people who received it should know that they did the right thing to protect themselves and their families, and that anyone at moderate or high risk of COVID-19 infections should always receive the vaccine that they are receiving. is offered first.
Quach says unvaccinated people who are at low risk of COVID-19 infections may want to consider the balance of risk between a vaccine that can pose a rare but potentially fatal side effect and one that does not.
Over 1.7 million Canadians have been vaccinated with at least one dose of AstraZeneca, and Canada has reported at least 11 cases of vaccine-induced thrombotic thrombocytopenia or VITT.
Three of these patients died.
Most Canadians will not have to choose AstraZeneca now rather than wait for Pfizer or Moderna, as most of the 2.3 million doses of AstraZeneca already shipped to Canada have been used and there are currently only shipments expected from Pfizer and Moderna.