#Canada, #Ontario, #Alberta, #AstraZenecaVaccine
Ontario/IBNS: Starting today, Ontario is booking appointments for AstraZeneca's Covid-19 vaccines for eligible people above 40 years by select pharmacies and primary care offices across the province.
Astra Zeneca Vaccine. Image credit: Wikimedia commons
Ontario had decided to lower the eligibility age for AstraZeneca vaccines from 55 to 40 after the federal government of Canada announced on Apr 18 that Ontario was free to expand eligibility for the AstraZeneca vaccines to any adult over the age of 18.
This announcement by the federal government was made when some pharmacists warned they had doses sitting idle because of the age restrictions.
Before this decision to lower the eligibility criteria, the vaccine in Ontario was offered only to people aged above 55 in keeping with the recommendations from the National Advisory Council on Immunization (NACI) earlier this spring.
#Ontario; #Alberta; #AstraZenecaVaccine; #LoweringOfAgeLimit
Ontario/Canadian-Media: The federal government of Canada announced on Sunday that Ontario was free to expand eligibility for the AstraZeneca-Oxford vaccine to any adult over the age of 18 due to doses sitting idle at some pharmacies because of the age restrictions.
Image: AstraZeneca Vaccine. Image credit: Wikimedia Commons
"Provinces and territories are free to use AstraZeneca in any population over 18 per Health Canada's license for use in Canada," federal Health Minister Patty Hajdu told reporters on Sunday.
In a statement Sunday, Alexandra Hilkene, a spokesperson for Ontario Health Minister Christine Elliott said that AstraZeneca-Oxford COVID-19 vaccine shots will be offered at pharmacies and primary care settings and added Ontario made the call based on the current supply of AstraZeneca vaccines.
Before Ontario's announcement regarding lowering of age from 55 to 40, the vaccine in Ontario was offered only to people aged 55 and older in keeping with the recommendations from the National Advisory Council on Immunization (NACI) earlier this spring.
Hours after Ontario's announcement, Jason Kenney, Alberta's Premier citing advice from Alberta public health officials tweeted that the province is also lowering the eligibility age from 55 to 40.
#AstraZeneca, #Canada; #PotentialSideEffcts; #HealthCanada
Ontario/Canadian-Media: The first confirmed of rare but potentially fatal blood clotting had been reported by the Quebec's Ministry of Health and Social Services in Canada in connection with the AstraZeneca-Oxford COVID-19 vaccine after a female experienced an adverse event known as vaccine-induced prothrombotic immune thrombocytopenia (VIPIT).
AstraZeneca Vaccine. Image credit: Wikimedia Commons
Quebec Health Minister Christian Dubé said yesterday that the woman in question was immediately taken care of and is doing fine.
Canada’s National Advisory Committee on Immunization has said that VIPIT occurs at a rate of about one in 100,000 people vaccinated, with a mortality rate of about 40 per cent, although more research is needed and that risk is reduced if treated early enough.
Concerns about vaccine side effects began in mid-March, following dozens of reports of blood clotting after inoculations, prompting several nearly 20 countries to halt the rollout of the AstraZeneca vaccine.
Earlier on Tuesday the federal department said in a statement that the first reported case of blood clotting will be included in Health Canada’s study of the link between the AstraZeneca vaccine and the deadly side effect.
Health Minister Patty Hajdu also said Canadian health regulators will not hesitate to change the terms of the AstraZeneca coronavirus vaccine license if additional safety issues emerge.
"All vaccines approved for use in Canada undergo routine and scrutinous attention. All adverse effects are reported through Health Canada and Health Canada monitors that data closely and will not hesitate to change its licensing for use in Canada should there be any risk to Canadians," Hajdu said during a Question Period session on Tuesday.
Health Canada has already paused inoculating Canadians under the age of 55 with the AstraZeneca vaccine following a recommendation from Canada’s National Advisory Committee on Immunizations (NACI).
A disclaimer has been issued by the Canadian health regulators regarding blood clots that may potentially form in individuals who receive an AstraZeneca shot, but have not officially listed it as an official side effect.
#Ontario; #COVID19Pandemic; #SecondHighestSingleDay
Ontario/Canadian-Media: Ontario sees new 4,401 cases of COVID-19 pandemic cases today, the second-highest on a single day in the province despite public health units having logged a 9.5 percent positivity tests rate of pandemic, one of the highest test positivity rates in Ontario
Spread of Covid-19 Pandemic. Image credit: Unsplash
Of the 4,031,325 doses that Ontario received from the federal government to date, Ontario has now used about 80 percent to date.
According to the Ontario's Ministry of Health, as of yesterday, out of 1,646 people with COVID-19 in hospitals, 619 are being treated in ICUs for COVID-19-related illness, while 408 are on ventilators. Both figures are new pandemic highs for Ontario.
To increase capacity for the treatment of COVID-19 patients, hospitals have started today to ramp down elective surgeries and non-urgent procedures.
Last week Ontario's Health Minister Christine Elliott said last week that ramping down elective surgeries and non-urgent procedures could increase intensive-care unit capacity in Ontario by up to 1,000 patient beds.
Although hospitals in northern Ontario are exempt from cancelling non-urgent procedures, a memo from Ontario Health was issued on Thursday night said they should prepare to ramp down quickly in the near future.
Ontario hospitals had also been asked, according to the memo, to identify staff who may be redeployed to other sites if necessary.