Multiple sources have confirmed to The Canadian Press that federal immunization experts will change their recommendation to specify that the Oxford-AstraZeneca COVID-19 vaccine should not be used on people under the age of 55.
"While awaiting the results from Health Canada inquiries and the overall risk assessment, NACI recommends immediately pausing the use of the AstraZeneca vaccine in all individuals less than 55 years of age in Canada", said the NACI bulletin.
Last week, Health Canada updated the label for the AstraZeneca COVID-19 vaccine to provide information on "very rare" reports of blood clots associated with the shots.
"This adverse event is being referred to as Vaccine-Induced Prothrombotic Immune Thrombocytopenia (VIPIT)".
Canada's Chief Medica Advisor Dr. Supriya Sharma says there have yet to be any reports of these aforementioned side effects in the country.
NACI indicates that cases have primarily been in women under the age of 55, although cases in men have been reported as well, and mostly occurring between four and 16 days after receipt of the vaccine.
Canada is due to receive 1.5 million doses of the vaccine from the US this week.
More than 11 per cent of the population has now received at least one dose.
"This information will support the ongoing evaluation of these rare blood clotting events, and allow Health Canada to determine if there are specific groups of people who may be at higher risk", the information from Health Canada reads.
"To date, no cases of these events have been reported in Canada", the agency said.
"A single mRNA batch of the current scale is sufficient to produce around eight million vaccine doses", explains BioNTech. "Currently, 400 BioNTech employees work in Marburg, 200 of them in 24/7 shifts in order to maximize the production's output".
Canada Health Minister Patty Hajdu refused to directly comment Health Canada monitors real-world data on the use of vaccines.
Surrey teachers and staff who have appointments for a COVID-19 vaccine on Monday have been informed they'll get the Pfizer shot, not the AstraZeneca one.
"It's important for everyone, when it's their turn, to get a vaccine because the more people that get vaccines, the sooner we'll be able to go back to a more normal life for everyone", Elliott said from the Toronto pharmacy where she got the shot.
Canada has received 500,000 doses so far and is expecting another 1.5-million before the end of May.
"Some residents younger than 55 would have received AstraZeneca including eligible health-care workers and vaccinators, though no thrombosis-like adverse events have been reported in Saskatchewan to date".