On Monday, Quebec health officials stated they plan to immunize seniors with the Vaccine Oxford-AstraZeneca despite Canada’s Vaccine panel noting that it should not be used to vaccinate persons above 65 years.
The province’s expert committee has recommended that all approved vaccines be used to immunize the masses to prevent hospitalization and fatalities, according to the health department. The committee added that the vaccine AstraZeneca offers flexibility in their vaccination campaign.
Oxford-AstraZeneca offers many advantages, according to health officials, one of which is that hospitals and immunization centers won’t need refrigeration equipment and can be used to vaccinate 48 hours after vials are unlocked. They added that its application favors patient for who mobility is a challenge.
The advisory committee on immunization (NACI) said the vaccine is not ideal for immunizing persons above 65 years because they do not have sufficient information to support its efficacy in people of that age range, even though it has been approved for use by the in all adults.
Currently, there is no cause for concern that it would not be safe to use, although the NACI said that Pfizer and Moderna are preferable for persons above 65 because they present superior efficacy.
The immunization committee proposed that where there are insufficient doses, the two should be prioritized for high-risk groups, with AstraZeneca being given to a person who is at a lower risk.
The body noted that the efficacy of AstraZeneca is about 62.5 percent, which declines to 43 percent for persons aged above 65 years. It added that this is quite imprecise given that there is a low number of recipients in this age range. This efficacy is quite high with regards to preventing serious illness, hospitalization, and fatalities, the committee noted.
Last Monday, the province eased its health guidelines in five locations, allowing residents to visit gyms, restaurants, and a few other social places for the first time in many weeks.