New Delhi (NVI): Canada has suspended the use of the Oxford/AstraZeneca coronavirus vaccine for people under 55 following concerns it might be linked to rare blood clots.
The pause was recommended by the National Advisory Committee on Immunization (NACI) for safety reasons.
Only those 60 and above have received AstraZeneca in Ontario, Canada’s most populous province.
Health Canada said in a statement, “The action came in the light of information being reported from Europe about additional cases of very rare adverse events of thrombosis (blood clots) with thrombocytopenia (low blood platelets) occurring after immunisation with the AstraZeneca vaccine”.
It, however, clarified that till date “no cases of these events (side effects such as possible blood clots) have been reported in Canada”.
The AstraZeneca shot, which has been authorised in more than 70 countries, is a pillar of a UN-backed project known as Covax that aims to get Covid vaccines to poorer countries.
It has also become a key tool in European countries’ efforts to boost their sluggish vaccine rollouts.
However, several European countries that had suspended using the vaccine over concerns it could cause blood clots have resumed administering it after the EU’s drug regulator said the vaccine was safe.