Don’t know about the AstraZeneca Vaccine? Here’s what you need to know about the benefits – and rare side effects


Canadian national vaccine consultants caused confusion around the AstraZeneca vaccine on Monday when they recommended people at low risk of COVID-19 wait for an mRNA shot, which would have been a rare opportunity for a blood clot. Does not seem to carry.

Public health experts reacted doubly to his own message – that all Canadians need to look for any vaccine available for immediate protection against COVID-19 – and insisted that AstraZeneca recommended by Health Canada Continues against the virus, which overwhelms Ontario’s hospitals. Sick patient.

Infectious disease experts say the National Advisory Committee’s statement on vaccination has led to disappointment when Canadians instead have a clear understanding of the risks of AstraZeneca and how to look for side effects, identifying how much the vaccine is available to populations worldwide Is beneficial. .

“All of these vaccines are incredibly effective, all of them improve hospitalization, death, disability and even transmission of COVID-19. An infectious at McMaster University, citing NACI’s comments. Said Dr. Zen Chagla, a disease doctor and associate professor.

After NACI continued the uproar on social media among health experts on Monday, it was said that the high-risk Canadians of COAID-19 cannot wait until they can pick up a shot of Pfizer or Morden, MRNA vaccines that are not shown have been shown to have similar risks associated with AstraZeneca.

In the last few weeks when NACI spoke of the age limit for AstraZeneca being lower than 30, the message was confirmed that they recommend the shot “if the person does not want to wait for the mRNA vaccine and reduce the benefit risk” Does.”

Medical Director of Infection Prevention and Control at University Health Network of Toronto, Dr. Susie Hota said that despite the message from apartheid, what we know about AstraZeneca has not changed.

“In terms of what we understand, the risk of blood clots is very low. It is considered rare, and with transmission being so widespread in some parts of the country … weighing in favor of the benefits of AstraZeneca, “Hota said, adding the idea of ​​a” preferred “vaccine is problematic.

AstraZeneca is an adenovirus vector vaccine that works by injecting a modified, harmless virus known as a “vector” that enters a cell in the body, and is called an innocuous piece of COIDID-19. Antibodies against the disease that prompt the body to make antibodies. Shot can cause very rare instances of vaccine-induced thrombotic thrombocytopenia (VITT), which is the development of low levels of blood platelets as well as blood clots, which can make it more difficult for the body to stop bleeding. is.

Currently in Canada, there are eight confirmed cases of VITT that have been reported, Health Canada told the Star in a statement. There has been a fatal there. Over 1.7 million doses of AstraZeneca have been administered nationwide. The vaccine has been received by Prime Minister Justin Trudeau and Premier Doug Ford.

Health Canada is engaged in a continuing safety review of the vaccine. Although, after estimating current data, millions of doses of the vaccine have been given worldwide, the department concludes that the risks are “very rare events” and it continues to recommend Canadians to take the vaccine.

Chagla said he was troubled by NACI’s comments that people who are at higher risk of infection – who are on low pay in Ontario, racially necessary workers who have been sidelined by the vaccine rollout – should take Estrazeneca while home But safe people should choose vaccines that do not have the same side effect profile.

As Ontario continues to deal with a sustained third wave of COVID-19, Chagla does not recommend abandoning AstraZeneca if it is available.

“The situation in Ontario really favors the risk profile of taking the first vaccine you have received, and is not sick, dying, transmission, hospitalization,” he said.

But with adenovirus vector vaccines, used by both AstraZeneca and Johnson & Johnson, a single-dose shot that has been approved in Canada but not yet delivered is important to understand its side effects.

In the UK, about 120,000 people have suffered a blood clot after receiving the AstraZeneca vaccine. In late April, the UK medical regulator said they had seen 209 cases of blood clots with low platelet counts among about 22 million people who have been vaccinated with AstraZeneca. Forty people have died after clotting.

In Canada, rates are around one in 100,000, but they may be higher after combing the population to check for side effects. But one in 50,000 is still very rare, he said.

There is a tendency for clots to emerge about four to 22 days after the vaccine is given. It appears that this is due to an exaggerated response to the vaccine, which may occur with the viral vector itself.

“The body simply has a very, really aggressive immune response, and it makes antibodies that start clumping the platelets together, which gives rise to these clots,” he said. “This is not a late reaction because it is at the same point that the body is learning to develop immunity.”

Symptoms of these clots may include an unreliable headache, change in vision, numbness in the face or tingling if a blood clot has formed in the head. If they are occurring in the lungs, a person may experience shortness of breath, and is accompanied by swelling and tenderness in the legs, Chagla said.

“The signs of low platelets, which is the second part of the syndrome, there are any easy sores or bleeding or rash on the skin, and there are good reasons to assess it,” he said, adding the emergency room is now in place for it. Are ready. It is important to seek medical care, even if it is a false alarm.

In most cases, blood clots occur in large vessels in the head, he said.

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If you’re in the process of weighing your risks with AstraZeneca, Hota said it’s important to look at the risks of what can happen when hospitalized with COVID-19, when the possibility of a blood clot forming They range from 15 to 20 percent.

A study last month from the University of Oxford found that the risk of brain blood clots from COVID-19 is approx. Is 10 times more Compared to vaccination.

“The benefits of inoculation quickly reduce the risk of blood clots, which are very low. Every day you wait, this is an opportunity lost, ”she said.

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