Recommendation 'in the coming hours' for AstraZeneca vaccine age limit: Dubé thumbnail

Recommendation ‘in the coming hours’ for AstraZeneca vaccine age limit: Dubé

Quebec officials in discussions after Ontario’s decision to begin vaccinating people as young as 40 with it.

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Montreal Gazette

In response to waning demand for vaccines among people 55 and over, a van with loudspeakers was sent through Notre-Dame-de-Grâce on the weekend to announce the availability of mobile vaccination clinics.
In response to waning demand for vaccines among people 55 and over, a van with loudspeakers was sent through Notre-Dame-de-Grâce on the weekend to announce the availability of mobile vaccination clinics. Photo by Graham Hughes /The Canadian Press

Following Ontario’s decision on Sunday to begin vaccinating people as young as 40 with the AstraZeneca vaccine, Quebec Health Minister Christian Dubé announced that Dr. Horacio Arruda, director of public health, is in discussions with his federal counterparts about potentially expanding its use here as well.

“We’re waiting for the official recommendation of our experts in Quebec in the coming hours,” he said on Twitter at 9 p.m. Sunday. “We have to save more lives as fast as possible with the vaccine.”

Health Canada has said the vaccine is safe for everyone 18 and over, but the National Advisory Committee on Immunization has recommended it only be used on people at least 55 years of age due to a potential risk of rare blood clots. The NACI’s recommendations are not binding on the provinces.

Quebec is allowing people 55 and older to be vaccinated with the AstraZeneca vaccine, even without an appointment, but demand for it has waned in recent days.

Late Sunday, Alberta Premier Jason Kenney announced his province, too, would open up AstraZeneca vaccines to people ages 40 and up.

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