Canada halts use of AstraZeneca vaccine for people under-55 over safety fears

Canada’s National Advisory Committee on Immunisations is set to recommend a temporary ban on giving the coronavirus vaccine to those aged under 55. Just last week, Canada’s health ministry said the vaccine was safe and would continue to be recommended for use. 

A number of countries in Europe, including Norway and Denmark, have also halted the use of the vaccine.

The shot has been linked to mild side-effects and even blood clotting in a small number of patients – but has been deemed safe by leading regulators.

The European Medicines Agency and World Health Organisation have backed the AstraZeneca jab for use.

AstraZeneca has also conducted a review of safety data from more than 17 million people inoculated in the UK and EU.

The firm found no evidence that the vaccine raised the risk of blood clots.

Canadian health officials first recommended the AstraZeneca vaccine for those under the age of 65, and on March 16 the green-light was given to allow pensioners to have the jab.

Speaking last week, Health Canada’s chief medical adviser, Dr Supriya Sharma, said she agreed with EU authorities that the benefits of the vaccine outweigh any potential risks.

This is a developing news story, more to follow.

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