AstraZeneca vaccine safe for Canadians over age 65: immunization committee


A vial of some of the first 500,000 of the 2-million AstraZeneca coronavirus disease (COVID-19) vaccine doses that Canada has secured through a deal with the Serum Institute of India in partnership with Verity Pharma at a facility in Milton, Ontario, Canada March 3, 2021. [Photo/Agencies]

OTTAWA - Canada's National Advisory Committee on Immunization (NACI) announced on Tuesday that the Oxford-AstraZeneca COVID-19 vaccine is both safe and effective for people over age 65.

The committee said real-world evidence has demonstrated that the vaccine is safe and effective in older people, particularly against severe illness from COVID-19 and hospitalization.

The announcement is different from a recommendation made by the NACI itself on March 1, when its panel of vaccine experts said AstraZeneca hadn't included enough people over the age of 65 in its clinical trials.

The committee said three "real-world effectiveness studies" helped inform its decision to change the recommendations, including evidence from Britain, which has been administering the vaccine to people over 65 years and older since January.

The NACI initially recommended that people over the age 65 should be prioritized for the Pfizer-BioNTech and Moderna vaccines instead of the AstraZeneca, because of "limited information on the efficacy of this vaccine in this age group".

On Monday, Germany, France, Italy and Spain joined a list of European countries to suspend use of the AstraZeneca vaccine following reports of blood clots in some recipients.

AstraZeneca has said that a review of 17 million people who have received their vaccine in Europe and Britain found no evidence of an elevated blood clotting risk.

On Monday, Prime Minister Justin Trudeau assured Canadians that the AstraZeneca vaccine is safe for use.

"Health Canada and our experts and scientists have spent an awful lot of time making sure every vaccine approved in Canada is both safe and effective," Trudeau said.

Health Canada approved the AstraZeneca vaccine for use in anyone 18 years or older in late February. It became the third COVID-19 shot green-lighted in Canada, joining vaccines from Pfizer-BioNTech and Moderna.

Canada's initial 500,000 doses of the AstraZeneca COVID-19 vaccine have been manufactured by the Serum Institute of India.

Health Canada said that the AstraZeneca vaccine has an efficacy of 62.1 percent among people 18 to 64 years old.

In total, Canada is reportedly scheduled to receive 23.9 million doses of the vaccine.

As of Monday evening, more than 3.1 million COVID-19 vaccine doses were administered across the country, meaning approximately 4.2 percent of the Canadian population has been immunized against the virus. 

2021年3月3日,加拿大通过与印度血清研究所和威瑞蒂制药公司在加拿大安大略省米尔顿的一个设施合作,与印度血清研究所达成协议,获得了200万剂阿斯利康冠状病毒(新冠肺炎)疫苗中的首批50万剂疫苗。[图片/机构]渥太华-加拿大国家免疫咨询委员会(NACI)周二宣布,牛津-阿斯利康新冠肺炎疫苗对65岁以上的人既安全又有效。该委员会表示,现实世界的证据表明,这种疫苗对老年人是安全有效的,特别是针对来自新冠肺炎和住院的严重疾病。这一声明不同于NACI自己在3月1日提出的建议,当时其疫苗专家小组表示,阿斯利康的临床试验中没有纳入足够多的65岁以上的人。该委员会表示,三项“现实世界的有效性研究”有助于为其改变建议的决定提供信息,包括来自英国的证据,英国自1月份以来一直向65岁及以上的人施用疫苗。NACI最初建议65岁以上的人优先接种辉瑞-生物技术公司和现代疫苗,而不是阿斯利康,因为“关于这种疫苗在这一年龄组的疗效的信息有限”。周一,德国、法国、意大利和西班牙加入了欧洲国家的名单,在一些接受者出现血凝块的报告后,暂停使用阿斯利康疫苗。阿斯利康表示,对欧洲和英国1700万接种疫苗的人的审查没有发现血液凝固风险增加的证据。周一,贾斯廷·特鲁多总理向加拿大人保证阿斯利康疫苗可以安全使用。特鲁多说:“加拿大卫生部和我们的专家和科学家花了大量时间来确保加拿大批准的每一种疫苗都是安全有效的。”。加拿大卫生部在2月底批准阿斯利康疫苗用于18岁或以上的任何人。它成为新冠肺炎在加拿大的第三个绿灯,加入了来自辉瑞制药、生物技术和现代制药的疫苗。加拿大最初的50万剂阿斯利康新冠肺炎疫苗是由印度血清研究所制造的。加拿大卫生部表示,阿斯利康疫苗在18至64岁的人群中的效力为62.1%。据报道,加拿大总共将接受2390万剂疫苗。截至周一晚上,全国接种了超过310万剂新冠肺炎疫苗,这意味着大约4.2%的加拿大人口已经接种了这种病毒。

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