P.E.I. suspends AstraZeneca vaccine


Prince Edward Island is suspending AstraZeneca vaccine for those aged 18-29

The Atlantic province of Prince Edward Island has suspended the AstraZeneca vaccine for those aged 18 to 29. Still, the P.I.E. government is not disclosing the reasons for this decision. Furthermore, the island’s authorities are waiting for more information from Health Canada and the Immunization Committee.

It came as a shock to many who saw their appointments put on hold. In a press release, P.E.I. spokesperson Samanta Hughes stated that they would share further information later today. “Appointments at pharmacies for AstraZeneca vaccine for those 18-29 are on hold pending anticipated further information from Health Canada and NACI. We expect more information on this later today.”, Hughes said.

Prince Edward Island is not the only way skeptical of AstraZeneca batches. Earlier this month, European countries such as Denmark, Norway, and Sweden also paused their AstraZeneca doses administration. Nonetheless, the EMA reiterated that the vaccine is safe. Health Canada followed, stating that the AstraZeneca vaccine remains safe and effective for all age groups. Health Canada, moreover, encouraged Canadian citizens to take the vaccine whenever offered.

Dr. Heather Morrison, a chief medical officer in P.I.E., shared similar views. “I ask employers and business owners in these areas to encourage their staff age 18-29 to be immunized’, she said. “And, if possible, please offer to assist with transportation and eliminating any other barriers that may be preventing staff from receiving the vaccine.”

It seems unlikely at this time that Health Canada could do anything but reassure the P.E.I. government about the vaccine efficacy. Senior Health Canada official Marc Berthiaume said to reporters that the message is quite clear. The vaccine has shown safety and efficacy as expected. Therefore, for the time being, authorities across Canada will continue to administer AstraZeneca to the population.