Vaughn Palmer: B.C. not too worried about high-level concerns with AstraZeneca jab

Politics

Vials of the AstraZeneca's COVID-19 vaccine.

VICTORIA — The provincial health officer defended B.C.’s use of the AstraZeneca vaccine this week in light of a statement by Canada’s immunization advisory committee that some fear could increase vaccine hesitancy or vaccine shopping.

“With the amount of transmission we are seeing in this province the best advice, that I can give: The first vaccine that you have access to is the one that you should get,” Dr. Bonnie Henry told reporters. “That includes the AstraZeneca vaccine.”

Granted there was a small “safety signal” regarding use of the vaccine, related to a “very rare” risk of developing blood clots. But Henry’s position was “very clear” in the real world of limited supplies of vaccine and the goal of immunizing as much of the population as possible, as soon as possible, in the name of greater safety for all.

“We have real world data from the United Kingdom that shows a single dose of AstraZeneca or Pfizer vaccine provides excellent protection; in the high 80 per cent protection against transmission of the virus, but also (against) serious illness, hospitalizations and deaths. More recent studies have shown that both AstraZeneca and Pfizer vaccines prevent you from getting infected yourself, and make it less transmissible to your family if you do get infected.”

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Source:: Vancouver Sun – Politics

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