NACI accused of contributing to confusion, hesitation over ‘preferred’ vaccine guidance

TORONTO – The National Advisory Committee on Vaccination is being accused of causing confusion about COVID-19 vaccines because it has been reported that mRNA vaccines on the viral vector were “preferred”.

On Monday, NACI doubled its position that Johnson & Johnson and AstraZeneca were the Pfizer-BioNotech and Modern vaccines “favorites” on the shots, and the Canadian should weigh the risks before deciding which one to get.

The viral vectors AstraZeneca and Johnson & Johnson doses have been linked to an extremely rare and potentially life-threatening blood-clotting syndrome called vaccine-induced immune thrombotic thrombocytopenia (VIITT). The risk of developing this syndrome is estimated to be anywhere from one case in 100,000 to one case in 250,000.

The Johnson & Johnson vaccine has been approved for use by Health Canada, but the agency said 300,000 doses of it were held, so that one of its ingredients could be discovered, after which it was ensured that a problem Vaccine was created. Manufacturing facility in the states.

While vaccine-related blood clotting disease is very low, with only seven reported VIITT cases in AstraZeneca’s nearly 1.7 million doses, which have been administered in Canada so far, the committee’s vice-chairman Dolly Gulls said That should be kept in mind.

“Viral vector vaccines are very effective vaccines, but there is a safety signal, a security risk … and the issue with the safety signal is that although it is very rare, it is very serious,” she said. “Individuals require an informed choice to be vaccinated with the first available vaccine or to wait for an mRNA vaccine.”

Viral vector vaccines use a weak or attenuated common virus, not a SARS-CoV-2 virus, that causes COVID-19, and manipulate it, so it cannot replicate or cause disease. is. The SARS-CoV-2 spike protein is then associated with the vector virus, so the immune system can learn to recognize it and fight potential infections if it encounters it with a real coronovirus and its spike protein in the future.

MRNA vaccines, on the other hand, use a technique that teaches body cells to make proteins that can trigger an immune response to overcome infection by the SARS-COV-2 virus.

This latest announcement from NACI seems to contradict Health Canada’s repeated guidance to Canadians that the best vaccine is available to them first.

When asked about this on the power play of CTV News Channel on Monday, NACI chairman Dr. Carolyn Quach-Than said it really boils down to where people live and their potential risk for COVID-19.

“It basically depends on where you are. So if you are in an area where there is no COVID, it is okay to wait for mRNA, ”she said. Do an individual risk assessment. If you are in an area where there is a ton of COVID, transmission is high, then I absolutely agree, the first vaccine that comes is the one you take. “

Deeks said that when someone is able to work from home in an area that wants to wait for one of the mRNA vaccines in many cases, someone working in a manufacturing plant in a province with many infections is the first Wants to receive the vaccine. Is available for them.

While Quach-Thanh described NACI’s advice as the “transparent” message they needed to send to Canadians, many doctors in Canada with conflicting guidance and their ability to contribute to the vaccine’s hesitation Took on Twitter to express disappointment.

Dr., a family physician and medical researcher in Toronto. Iris Gopherinkel said she was attending her clinic the next day, when she was anticipated to answer patients’ questions about NACI’s latest recommendations.

“The level of risk is acceptable. This is a mixed message from NACI that is hard to fathom, ” She wrote.

Dr. Brian Goldman too Shared your disappointment With NACI’s advice in a post on Twitter.

“It hurts me to say this, but it’s past to take NACI recommendations with a grain of salt. For the good of your health, when it comes to #covidvaccines, don’t get it wrong. First Joe You are offered, take it.

Palliative care physician Dr. Nahid Dosani also attempted to make sense of the new guidance by noting that it seemed that NACI was advising that the front-line and essential staff should take the less-safe viral vector vaccine.

“So let me get this straight: NACI is recommending that you should wait to get the mRNA vaccine, but if you can’t wait (as if you are an essential employee in the hotspot), you should be able to get the vaccine Should compromise be made, in which a greater risk of blood clots? ”She wrote.

The news, contemplating waiting for Canada’s “favorite” Pfizer-Biotech and Modern Vaccine, also raised concern among those who had already received an AstraZeneca dose.

“I received the AstraZeneca vaccine last week. Today’s NACI guidance has thrown me for a loop. Not only is NACI saying that I should wait for Pfizer or Modern, b / c I work from home, but the extremely rare risk of blood clots I take is still acceptable for low-paid workers. ” A woman said in a tweet Monday.

“I am very confused and really angry about it. My husband received the AZ vaccine last week. Should she have waited ?? That is why they are not saying everything. They are saying that the first vaccine should be available to the people, ” A nurse wrote on twitter.

During the NACI announcement, Deeks attempted to assimilate concerns from those who had already received the AstraZeneca shot by making safe and effective calls. He also said that the committee is considering the idea of ​​mixing and matching vaccines for the second dose.

“There is no reason for people not to receive a second dose of an AstraZeneca vaccine or an mRNA vaccine … NACI will be making a recommendation about a mixed schedule as soon as we see some information from some studies,” she said. .

In the House of Commons on Monday, Conservative MP and health critic Michelle Rempel questioned Health Minister Patty Hazadoo about the confusion over NACI’s favorite vaccines.

“It’s very different from what we’re hearing.” Does Health Canada recommend taking or waiting for the first vaccine for an mRNA (Pfizer or Modern) vaccine? ” He asked.

In response to this, Hazdu said that people in Canada should talk to their health care provider if they want to know which vaccine is right for them.

However, Quach-Thanh stated that she did not think this advice would contribute to confusion or vaccine inhibition and meant helping people get the vaccine based on the risk of contracting COVID-19.

“It requires an informed consent,” she said. “If, for example, my sister had to get the AstraZeneca vaccine and died of a thrombosis when I know it could have been prevented and she is not in a high-risk area, I’m not sure I could live with it. Am. “

By far, the highest vaccine doses have been received by Canadians from Pfizer, followed by Modern and then AstraZeneca.

With files from Rachel Aello and The Canadian Press of


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