NACI’s advice on ‘preferred vaccines’ for COVID-19 sparks confusion and anger – fr

COVID-19 vaccinations open to over 50s and many essential workers Thursday: MLHU – fr

OTTAWA – The National Advisory Committee on Immunization has come under fire after contradicting advice Canadians have been receiving for weeks to take the first COVID-19 vaccine available to them.

NACI said on Monday that the Pfizer-BioNTech and Moderna vaccines are “preferred” and that Canadians should weigh the risks of waiting for one before deciding to take a more immediate dose of either. other of the other two approved for use in Canada.

The Johnson & Johnson and AstraZeneca vaccines have been linked to an extremely rare new blood clotting syndrome.

For this reason, Dr. Shelly Deeks, vice-chair of the committee, said a person working from home in a province where there is not a lot of disease might want to wait for an injection of the Pfizer or Moderna vaccines.

But she said it would be a very different risk-benefit analysis for someone working in a manufacturing plant without personal protective equipment in a province where COVID-19 is spreading like wildfire.

NACI’s advice appears to contradict Health Canada’s long-standing recommendation that the best vaccine is the first available.

Some doctors have taken to social media to denounce NACI’s latest advice, warning that the committee is confusing and exacerbating reluctance to get vaccinated.

“It pains me to say this, but it is high time to follow NACI’s recommendations with a grain of salt,” Emergency physician Brian Goldman said on Twitter.

“For the sake of your health, DO NOT be selective about #covidvaccines. Take the first one offered to you. “

People who were inoculated with AstraZeneca also took to social media to express their anger at being tricked into getting a second-rate vaccine, while others questioned whether they should cancel the first scheduled injections. of this vaccine or refuse a second dose.

One Twitter user sourly noted that NACI’s advice boils down to “those most at risk should settle for a vaccine with the highest risk because they are at the highest risk.”

NACI President Caroline Quach-Thanh only made matters worse when she tried to explain the committee’s advice during an interview on CTV’s power and politics on Monday.

“If, for example, my sister received the AstraZeneca vaccine and died of thrombosis when I know it could have been avoided and is not in a high risk area, I am not sure you can live with it, ”she said.

The risk of a new blood clotting syndrome, known as vaccine-induced thrombotic thrombocytopenia, or VITT, is estimated to be between one in 100,000 doses administered and one in 250,000. But the syndrome is so new that the it is still not clear what the real risk is, why it occurs, and who might be most likely to develop clots.

Seven cases have been reported to date in Canada, all in people who received the AstraZeneca vaccine. About 1.7 million doses had been distributed as of April 24.

As of April 23, 17 cases of VITT have been confirmed out of more than eight million doses of the J&J vaccine administered in the United States.

Health Canada has approved J&J for use in Canada, but no Canadians have yet received it, as the first batch delivered last week is still under investigation following reports of security breaches and of quality control in the American factory involved in its production.

NACI suggests that provinces and territories may want to prioritize J&J, the only single-injection vaccine approved in Canada to date, for people who have difficulty scheduling a second dose. He recommends that J&J, like AstraZeneca, be given only to people over 30 years of age.

Conservative MP Michelle Rempel Garner raised the confusion that the latest NACI council created in the House of Commons on Monday.

“It’s very different from what we’ve heard. Does Health Canada advise taking the first vaccine offered or waiting, if possible, for an mRNA vaccine (Pfizer or Moderna)? ” she asked.

Health Minister Patty Hajdu responded that Health Canada is responsible for approving vaccines for use while NACI provides independent advice on how best to administer them. She advised Canadians who are wondering which vaccine is right for them to ask their health care provider.

AstraZeneca and J&J are viral vector vaccines, a technology that takes a common cold virus, manipulates it so that it cannot replicate and make someone sick, and then attaches the SARS-CoV virus spike protein. 2 which causes COVID-19. The vaccine helps the body develop an immune response that will recognize and fight a true SARS-CoV-2 virus if it is ever exposed to it.

Pfizer and Moderna use mRNA technology, attaching the advanced protein to a molecule that delivers messages to the body to perform certain functions. In this case, the message is to mount an immune response against the SARS-CoV-2 virus.

So far in Canada, 12.8 million people have received at least one dose of a vaccine. About two-thirds of them received Pfizer, a fifth received Moderna and the rest AstraZeneca.

This report by The Canadian Press was first published on May 4, 2021.


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