Public health: ‘AstraZeneca vaccine available in Canada is both safe and effective’

Vaccines that led to blood clot concerns in Europe - though no link established - are not the ones being used on Canada

WELLINGTON COUNTY – Local public health officials continue to stress the benefits and safety of COVID-19 vaccines, noting AstraZeneca vaccines that may be connected to blood clots in European recipients are not the ones being shipped to Canada.

In a March 12 press release Wellington-Dufferin-Guelph Public Health (WDGPH) officials stressed the following information “to reinforce public confidence in the AstraZeneca vaccine in Canada”:

  • with any mass vaccination campaign, there is a small risk of adverse reactions that merit investigation, but incidences of adverse reactions to the AstraZeneca vaccine are extremely low; and
  • there are two “versions” of the AstraZeneca vaccine and the lots being investigated in Europe are not being used in Ontario.

Public health officials explained the AstraZeneca vaccine currently being delivered to Canada – the country’s first 500,000 doses are being used this week – comes from the Serum Institute of India under the brand name Covishield, which is a different supply from vaccines used in Europe.

“The AstraZeneca vaccine available in Canada is both safe and effective,” said WDGPH Medical Officer of Health Dr. Nicola Mercer.

“I encourage every resident of the region to get vaccinated as soon as it is their turn with whichever approved vaccine is available to them.”

At least nine European countries paused their use of the AstraZeneca vaccine – some altogether and others just on specific batches – pending further investigation of blood clots, though none of the countries suggested a link between clots and the vaccine.

According to Health Canada, the “benefits of the vaccine continue to outweigh its risks” and “At this time, there is no indication that the vaccine caused these events.”

Thrombosis Canada has issued a statement noting blood clots “are a common medical problem, especially in older people.

“It is therefore likely that some people who receive a vaccine will, at some point, in the future develop a blood clot for reasons that are not related to the vaccine.:

The organization adds that, “based on the available evidence, there is no link between receiving this vaccine and the development of blood clots.

“In general, vaccines of any type are not associated with the development of blood clots.”

For more information on COVID-19 vaccines,