Health News

Alberta stops giving first dose of AstraZeneca vaccine

The province has stopped giving first doses of the AstraZeneca COVID-19 vaccine they say because the supply of the vaccine is expected to become scarce. 

Alberta’s chief medical officer of health, Dr. Deena Hinshaw, said the lack of supply prompted provincial health officials to alter their immunization strategy.

“Based on global supply challenges, we do not know when we will get additional supply,” Hinshaw said in a statement on Twitter. 

“That’s why we are making the prudent move – saving the remaining 8,000 doses for those who have a contraindication to an mRNA vaccine, or for second doses.” 

Last week Chief Medical Officer of Health Dr. Deena Hinshaw confirmed a death linked to vaccine-induced immune thrombotic thrombocytopenia (VITT) in a woman in her 50s after receiving the AstraZeneca vaccine.

Yesterday the Ontario government announced it is pausing the use of the AstraZeneca COVID-19 vaccine due to safety and supply issues.Dr. David Williams, Ontario’s chief medical officer of health, said the decision was made out of an abundance of caution following increased instances of a potentially fatal blood clotting disorder, vaccine-induced immune thrombotic thrombocytopenia (VITT).

In Canada, at least 12 VITT cases have been confirmed. Three women have died. About two million doses have been given.

Countries including Germany, France, Denmark, Ireland, Israel, and Thailand suspended their use of AstraZeneca’s  vaccine after reports that some people who got a dose developed blood clots.

The European Medicines Agency (EMA) and the World Health Organization (WHO), however, say the data available doesn’t suggest the vaccine caused the clots.