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Ontario pauses rollout of 1st doses of AstraZeneca COVID-19 vaccine due to safety, supply | FULL

CA, 12 May 2021
Ontario’s chief medical officer of health Dr. David Williams announced on Tuesday that the Ontario government is pausing the rollout of the 1st dose of the Oxford-AstraZeneca COVID-19 vaccine in the province out of an abundance of caution because of increased instances of an extremely rare and potentially fatal blood clotting linked to the shot.

Williams added that the decision was also made based on the increased and reliable supply of Pfizer and Moderna as well as the downward trend of COVID-19 cases.

In Canada, at least 12 cases have been confirmed out of more than two million doses given and three women have died.

Dr. Jessica Hopkins, the chief health protection and emergency preparedness officer for Public Health Ontario, said officials “picked up a safety signal” when it comes to a slight uptick in cases of vaccine-induced immune thrombotic thrombocytopenia (VITT).

It’s not clear when the pause on vaccines could be lifted, but officials said there would be advice coming “in the very near future” for those who have already had a dose of the Oxford-AstraZeneca vaccine.

The Ontario government reported there are 49,280 doses of the shot remaining in the province out of over 707,000 received.


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