Provinces hitting pause on AstraZeneca vaccine as public health officials brace for new guidance

Provinces appear to be hitting pause on the rollout of the controversial AstraZeneca vaccine.

Global News has learned from senior provincial government sources that public health officials in Alberta, Ontario and Saskatchewan are set to announce a pause in the AstraZeneca vaccine program for those under the age of 55.

That is in line with an expected change in recommendations from the National Advisory Committee on Immunization (NACI), which Global News has confirmed is set to be announced later Monday.

It comes amid reports that public health officials in Prince Edward Island are also suspending the use.

The senior sources in Alberta, Ontario and Saskatchewan governments also tell Global News they were each informed of the pending change to NACI’s recommendations on Sunday night.

READ MORE: AstraZeneca doses from U.S. will arrive in Canada next week, officials say

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Multiple provincial government sources who have been briefed on NACI’s pending announcement to recommend pausing AstraZeneca vaccines for those under the age of 55 say it is because of issues related to blood clots observed in some recipients of the A-Z vaccine.

“It’s frustrating,” said a provincial government source.

Another provincial government source said NACI had concerns about the link between thromboses, AstraZeneca and women of a child-bearing age.

— More to come.

With files from Global’s David Akin and Mike Le Couteur.

© 2021 Global News, a division of Corus Entertainment Inc.

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