AstraZeneca COVID-19 vaccine ‘not recommended’ in people 65 and older: NACI

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Canada’s National Advisory Committee on Immunization (NACI) is not recommending the use of AstraZeneca’s COVID-19 vaccine in individuals aged 65 years and older, due to “the insufficiency of evidence of efficacy in this age group at this time.” However, Health Canada stressed that “there were no safety concerns in this age group in the clinical studies, nor in the large numbers of seniors who have been vaccinated to date in countries that have already authorized the AstraZeneca vaccine and are administering it to people over 65 years of age.” NACI’s new guidance follow Friday’s Health Canada approval of the AstraZeneca vaccine (ChAdOx1-S), the first “viral vector” vaccine to be authorized in this country. Specifically, the agency has given the green light to two manufacturers to provide authorized AstraZeneca doses to Canada: one manufactured by AstraZeneca and developed in partnership with Oxford University, and another version developed by the Serum Institute of India and Verity Pharmaceuticals called COVISHIELD.

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