AstraZeneca’s COVID-19 vaccine not recommended for people in Canada over age 65: NACI

Canada’s National Advisory Committee on Immunization (NACI) is not currently recommending the newly approved COVID-19 vaccine from AstraZeneca be used on people aged 65 or older.

According to the NACI website, this is “due to limited information on the efficacy of this vaccine in this age group at this time.”

Read more: Canada approves AstraZeneca’s COVID-19 vaccine

However, the agency said the vaccine has “demonstrated an average efficacy of approximately 62 per cent in those aged 18-64 years of age.”

The vaccine received approval from Health Canada on Friday.

NACI said the AstraZeneca vaccine should be delivered in two doses four to 12 weeks apart.

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Health Canada approves Oxford-AstraZeneca’s COVID-19 vaccine

It became the third vaccine to receive regulatory approval in Canada, joining ones from Moderna and Pfizer-BioNTech.

Canada has ordered 24 million doses of the AstraZeneca vaccine.

A senior government official told The Canadian Press on backround that the first of the AstraZeneca vaccines could arrive in the country as early as Wednesday, though the shipment has not been confirmed.

Read more: AstraZeneca’s COVID-19 vaccine and the ‘seniors’ question

Speaking to reporters on Friday, Dr. Supriya Sharma, Health Canada’s chief medical adviser said while the vaccine was not tested on people over the age of 65, “emerging, promising” real-world data from countries already using the product suggest it is safe and effective among older age groups.

“For someone 65 years and older, the question is, the benefits of getting the vaccine versus not, will it outweigh the risk? The answer to that is yes, based on all the information we have,” she said.

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Understanding the AstraZeneca COVID-19 vaccine

The guidelines released by the NACI are recommendations, meaning provinces and territories have the final say on how the vaccines are ultimately administered within their jurisdiction.

-More to come

-With files from Global News’ Rachael D’Amore and The Canadian Press

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

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