Canada waiting on J&J jabs despite US pause, first AstraZeneca clot found
Canada continues to expect its first shipment of Johnson & Johnson COVID-19 vaccines at month's end despite US and EU pauses over blood clot fears, officials said Tuesday, while also announcing a first Canadian clotting case linked to the AstraZeneca jab.
US health authorities earlier recommended pausing the Johnson & Johnson shot while the company said it would delay its European rollout, after six American women aged between 18 and 48 developed a rare type of clot in the brain along with low platelets.
One later died while another is in critical condition.
"We are still on track to receiving our first shipment of the Johnson & Johnson vaccines by the end of this month," Prime Minister Justin Trudeau told a news conference.
"But obviously we're following closely developments in the United States," he said.
Health Canada authorized the Johnson & Johnson vaccine on March 5, alongside three others. It said it is working with the manufacturer, the US Food and Drug Administration and other international regulators to determine the shot's safety as it awaits orders for up to 38 million doses.
The agency also identified Canada's first case of blood clotting with low platelets in a Quebec woman who received an AstraZeneca shot made by the Serum Institute of India.
"The person is at home now recovering," it said in a statement, adding that it continues to urge using the vaccine, saying the benefits of protection against the coronavirus "outweigh the potential risks."
As of Tuesday, Canada recorded more than 1,076,000 cases of coronavirus and 23,385 deaths.
According to the COVID-19 Vaccination Tracker website, 20 percent of the Canadian population of 38 million have received at least one dose.
© 2021 AFP