In this Monday, March 15, 2021 file photo a vial of AstraZeneca vaccine is pictured in a pharmacy in Boulogne Billancourt, outside Paris. Questions remained Wednesday about the future of the Oxford-AstraZeneca vaccine in Canada, as Manitoba limited use of the shot and Ontario announced it planned to save an incoming shipment to use as second doses. THE CANADIAN PRESS/AP/Christophe Ena, File

In this Monday, March 15, 2021 file photo a vial of AstraZeneca vaccine is pictured in a pharmacy in Boulogne Billancourt, outside Paris. Questions remained Wednesday about the future of the Oxford-AstraZeneca vaccine in Canada, as Manitoba limited use of the shot and Ontario announced it planned to save an incoming shipment to use as second doses. THE CANADIAN PRESS/AP/Christophe Ena, File

Questions remain about the future of the Oxford-AstraZeneca shot in Canada

More than two million Canadians have received AstraZeneca and 17 have been confirmed to have VITT

Questions remained Wednesday about the future of the Oxford-AstraZeneca vaccine in Canada as Manitoba limited use of the shot and Ontario said it was deciding how it would use an incoming shipment reserved for second doses.

Ontario – which has stopped administering AstraZeneca as a first dose over concerns about a rare clotting disorder – announced it will receive a quarter-million doses of the vaccine next week but is still reviewing when it will open up appointments for second doses.

Alberta, too, has stopped offering the shot to those who have yet to be vaccinated, but cites a lack of supply for the move.

Manitoba, meanwhile, announced Wednesday that it plans to offer first doses of the AstraZeneca vaccine only to those who might not be immunized at other sites.

Most doses will be held for second shots for people who received an AstraZeneca vaccine in the first go-around, the province said, “in response to ongoing evidence and supply.” Manitoba said it will receive about 20,000 doses of AstraZeneca in its next shipment.

The uncertainty over AstraZeneca has rankled some who already received their first dose of that vaccine and are undeterred by the risk of vaccine-induced thrombotic thrombocytopenia, also known as VITT.

A group of scientists advising the Ontario government has pegged the rate in Canada at 1 in 55,000 doses of AstraZeneca vaccine as of May 8, though it noted that some presumptive cases were still being investigated.

More than two million Canadians have received AstraZeneca and 17 have been confirmed to have VITT. Three women have died.

Alison Meek, who received her first dose of AstraZeneca last week, said she’d take a second shot of the same vacine “in a heartbeat.”

“I would have taken any of the ones that was offered. I think it is important not just for our own health, but to protect those around us. I think it’s needed to get out of this – these lockdowns that we’re in,” said Meek, who lives in London, Ont., and teaches history at Western University.

She said she had muscle aches and a fever after the shot but is happy with her decision.

“I have no regrets whatsoever, and would happily take the second dose,” Meek said.

Ontario currently has roughly 50,000 doses of the AstraZeneca shot left, some of which are due to expire in the coming weeks.

“I hope that they’re not going to be dumping those down the drain,” Meek said.

Toronto writer Emily Saso, 40, also stands by her decision to get the AstraZeneca shot in late April to guard against the risks of her husband bringing the COVID-19 virus back home from work.

But Saso said the shifting messages surrounding the AstraZeneca vaccine have done little to quell her longstanding fear of blood clots.

“It was definitely a failure of communication,” she said. “And that added to my anxiety, which was already high.”

Experts have noted that the risk of clotting is much higher among people diagnosed with COVID-19 than those who received the AstraZeneca shot.

Health Canada’s chief medical adviser has said that from an authorization perspective AstraZeneca’s benefits against COVID-19 still outweigh the rare risk of VIIT.

As questions over the use of AstraZeneca continue to swirl, however, health officials in all provinces are now watching for the results of a British study on mixing and matching vaccines.

Data could come on AstraZeneca and Pfizer as early as this week, with many health experts expecting very positive results from combining two different vaccines.

READ MORE: Vaccine confidence in Canada holds steady despite AstraZeneca safety concerns

Nicole Thompson, The Canadian Press


Like us on Facebook and follow us on Twitter.

Coronavirus

Just Posted

A concept rendering of the proposed seven-unit, two-storey development at 1129 Riverside Ave. in Sicamous. (District of Sicamous graphic)
Proposed luxury development in Sicamous sparks parking concerns

Seven-unit commercial-residential building planned for Riverside Avenue

The Shaw Centre and the SASCU Recreation Centre are the two largest producers of greenhouse gas emissions on City of Salmon Arm properties. (Martha Wickett-Salmon Arm Observer)
City of Salmon staff surprised COVID not cause of drop in greenhouse gas emissions

2020 sees emissions on city-owned properties decrease well below 2019 totals

Shuswap Litas and Son of Stomp head out from uptown Askew’s parking lot on Thursday, June 10, some with teddy bears and stuffies, to ride to Pierre’s Point by Adams Lake community hall to show their support for band members in the wake of the confirmation of 215 children buried at the site of the former Kamloops Indian Residential School. (Martha Wickett - Salmon Arm Observer)
Shuswap bike clubs ride to support Indigenous communities

Motorcyclists go to Pierre’s Point in solidarity with bands in wake of residential school findings

Interior Health is offering mobile vaccination clinics for the first dose only of COVID-19 vaccine in the Shuswap from June 15 to June 19h. (Interior Health image)
First-dose vaccinations for COVID-19 offered via mobile clinics in Shuswap

Clinic in Salmon Arm scheduled for June 15, other clinics in Sorrento, Malakwa, Chase

At an outdoor drive-in convocation ceremony, Mount Royal University bestows an honorary Doctor of Laws on Blackfoot Elder and residential school survivor Clarence Wolfleg in Calgary on Tuesday, June 8, 2021. THE CANADIAN PRESS/Jeff McIntosh
‘You didn’t get the best of me’: Residential school survivor gets honorary doctorate

Clarence Wolfleg receives honorary doctorate from Mount Royal University, the highest honour the school gives out

Denmark’s Christian Eriksen receives medical attention after collapsing during the Euro 2020 soccer championship group B match between Denmark and Finland at Parken stadium in Copenhagen, Saturday, June 12, 2021. (AP Photo/Martin Meissner, Pool)
Denmark soccer player Christian Eriksen collapses during game against Finland

Eriksen was given chest compressions after collapsing on the field during a European Championship

Members of the Department of Fisheries and Oceans’ Marine Mammal Response Program rescued an adult humpback what that was entangled in commercial fishing gear in the waters off of Entrance Island on Thursday, June 10. (Photo courtesy Marine Mammal Response Program)
Rescuers free humpback ‘anchored’ down by prawn traps off Vancouver Island

Department of Fisheries and Oceans responders spend hours untangling whale

As stories of the horrors of residential schools circulate after the Tk’emlups te Secwepemc First Nation announced it had located what are believed to be the remains of 215 children, Grand Chief Stewart Phillip of the Union of B.C. Indian Chiefs said he feels a connection with the former students. THE CANADIAN PRESS/Darryl Dyck
2 sides of the same coin: Ex-foster kids identify with residential school survivors

Grand Chief Stewart Phillip says the child welfare system takes Indigenous children from their families

Nathan Watts, a member of the Tseshaht First Nation near Port Alberni, shares his story of substance use, a perspective he said isn’t seen enough. (Photo courtesy of Nathan Watts)
Public shaming, hate perpetuates further substance use: UVic researcher

Longtime addict Nathan Watts offers a user’s perspective on substance use

A person receives a COVID-19 vaccine at a vaccination clinic run by Vancouver Coastal Health, in Richmond, B.C., Saturday, April 10, 2021. THE CANADIAN PRESS/Jonathan Hayward
More than 75% of B.C. adults have 1st dose of COVID vaccine

The federal government has confirmed a boost in the Moderna vaccine will be coming later this month

Airport ground crew offload a plane carrying just under 300,000 doses of the single-shot Johnson & Johnson COVID-19 vaccine which is developed by the Janssen Pharmaceutical Companies at Pearson International Airport during the COVID-19 pandemic in Toronto on Wednesday, April 28, 2021. THE CANADIAN PRESS/Nathan Denette
1st batch of Johnson & Johnson vaccines won’t be released in Canada over quality concerns

The vaccines were quarantined in April before they were distributed to provinces

The rainbow flag flies beside the Canadian flag outside the University of the Fraser Valley’s Chilliwack campus on June 26, 2020. Monday, June 14, 2021 is Flag Day, and also June is Pride Month. (Jenna Hauck/ Chilliwack Progress file)
Unofficial holidays: Here’s what people are celebrating for the week of June 13 to 19

Flag Day, Garbage Man Day, International Panic Day all coming up this week

Most Read