Despite being recommended against using the Oxford-AstraZeneca vaccine for people aged 65, Quebec announced its approval of the vaccines to seniors on Monday. The province experts approved that the vaccine is used to prevent deaths and hospitalizations, according to a press release to those aged 70 to 79 years.
The health department stated the advantages of the vaccine, including that it does not need to be kept while frozen. Apart from that, it can still be used up to 48 hours after being opened. Canada National Advisory Committee on Immunization had warned against administering the AstraZeneca vaccine to those aged 65 years and above because of insufficient data on its use to older people.
The committee had recommended Pfizer-BioNTech and Moderna for those aged 65 years and above. Quebec’s immunization committee recommended that two vaccines be used only to highest priority groups. AstraZeneca is used to those slightly lower risk groups and won’t respond well to other vaccines. Those included are residents of long-term care, exposed health workers, and people with a suppressed immune.
AstraZeneca vaccine has overall efficacy of 62.5 percent, while that efficacy drops to 43 percent when administered to elders over 65 years; however, it has been proven to prevent deaths, severe illness, and hospitalization effectively.
As the vaccination continues in the province, COVID-19 restrictions in five regions have been eased five region opening gyms, restaurants, and dining rooms. The curfew has also been pushed from 8 p.m. to 9:30 p.m. in Quebec City. However, Premier Francois Legault has advised people to maintain restrictions as the number of cases involving COVID-19 variants continues to be reported in Montreal and its regions.