Pharmacists Association ‘frustrated,’ worried NACI advice will prevent COVID-19 vaccine inhibitions

Open this photo in gallery

A medical worker prepares a dose of the COVID-19 vaccine from Oxford-AstraZeneca on March 18, 2021.

YVES Harman / Reuters

The Canadian Pharmacists Association says the advice of a national panel on vaccines is unnatural and is likely to make it harder to vaccinate enough people in the country to end the epidemic.

On Monday, the National Advisory Committee on Immunization sparked a fire of fear and anger after mRNA vaccines from Pfizer-BioNTech and Moderna called viral-vector vaccines from Oxford-Estradeneca and Johnson & Johnson pose a remote risk of blood clots Huh.

NACI, a panel of physicians and other vaccine experts, provided non-binding advice to the provinces that the viral-vector vaccine should only be used on people over the age of 30 who are at greater risk of getting COVID-19 .

Story continues under advertisement

The advice flies in the wake of a long-standing recommendation from federal and provincial public health officials that Canadians should take the first vaccine they offer.

Phil Amberley, an experienced pharmacist and executive director of professional affairs for the National Pharmacists Group, says he is “disappointed” by NACI’s statements and worried that more Canadians would hesitate to vaccinate than advise.

“I’m worried,” he said. “To get this epidemic, we need to protect a lot of Canadians. We really need to get the people of Canada vaccinated as soon as possible. ”

He says that when you weigh the risks that come with COVID-19 against the risks of any vaccine authorized by Canada, preventing the virus is always a better option.

Amberley says he received the AstraZeneca vaccine himself three weeks ago and has no regrets.

“I know right now that I won’t make a different decision based on everything,” he said.

He said he is also concerned that this will lead to Canadians, who are already afraid of taking their second dose from AstraZeneca. Of the 1.7 million people who received it as 24, only a few thousand received their second dose.

Story continues under advertisement

Some doctors took to social media to reject NACI’s latest advice, warning that the committee was causing confusion and increasing vaccine hesitation.

Emergency Physician Dr. Brian Goldman said on Twitter, “It hurts me to say this but it’s time to take the NACI recommendations with a grain of salt.”

“For the betterment of your health, don’t get it wrong when it comes to #covidvaccines. Take the first item you give.”

Conservative MPs said the government needed to fix the communication disaster that has become NACI.

Health care critic Michel Rempel Garner and procurement critic Pierre Paul-Huss said in a joint written statement, “When Canada’s people need clear, concise and constant communication for the use of the vaccine,”.

Johnson & Johnson and AstraZeneca vaccines have been linked to a new and extremely rare blood-clotting syndrome.

Story continues under advertisement

The risk of a new blood-clotting syndrome known as vaccine-induced thrombotic thrombocytopenia, or VITT, is estimated to be anywhere from one case per 100,000 doses to one given in 250,000. But the syndrome is so new, there is still little information about what the real risk is, why it is occurring and who is most likely to develop clots.

In Canada, seven cases have been reported of all people receiving the AstraZeneca vaccine. About 1.7 million people have received at least one dose in Canada as of April 24.

As of April 23, out of more than eight million doses of the J&J vaccine administered in the United States, 17 cases of VITT were confirmed.

Canada’s first shipment of 300,000 doses of the J & J vaccine is pending quality control investigation. Health Canada found that the narcotic substance in them was cited by the United States for several safety and quality control violations at several Maryland manufacturing plants.

Deputy Chief Public Health Officer Drs. Howard Nju says that more than 80 percent of Canadians over the age of 70 have been vaccinated against COVID-19. Njoo says it is higher than the flu vaccine and hopes it will help convince people of all the vaccines. Canadian Press

Sign up for Coronavirus update newsletter To read essential coronavirus news, features, and interpreters of the day written by journalists and editors of the Globe.


Latest articles

Related articles