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COVID-19: Ontario won’t lower AstraZeneca vaccine age threshold currently given limited supply

Ontario won’t be lowering the age threshold required to receive the AstraZeneca COVID-19 vaccine currently despite a new recommendation Friday from the National Advisory Committee on Immunization (NACI).

A spokesperson for Health Minister Christine Elliott said though NACI now recommends that the vaccine be given to those 30 years of age and older, limited supply means that, for the time being, the shot will continue to be given to those aged 40-plus.

Read more:
NACI recommends AstraZeneca COVID-19 vaccine be offered to Canadians 30+

“We look forward to receiving future shipments of AstraZeneca, which will allow us to begin vaccinating more Ontarians in younger age groups,” Alexandra Hilkene said in a statement.

“With approximately 337,000 doses remaining and future shipments not expected until May, we will continue to administer AstraZeneca to individuals 40 and over in pharmacies and primary care settings until we receive additional supply.

“This is aligned with Ontario’s vaccine rollout which prioritizes age and risk.”

NACI previously recommended that the vaccine be given to those 55 and older due to concerns around blood clots.

Read more:
Confusion mounts over AstraZeneca COVID-19 vaccine shipments to Ontario amid delay reports

Health Canada has approved the vaccine for those aged 18-plus, and earlier this week Ontario and other provinces announced that they would be giving the shot to younger groups despite NACI’s recommendation.

A provincial official said there are approximately 2.8 million Ontarians aged 40 to 55.

As of 8 p.m. Thursday, Ontario had administered a total of 4,400,674 COVID-19 vaccine doses, marking a one-day increase of 133,872. So far, 355,208 people in the province are considered to be fully vaccinated.

Click to play video: NACI recommends AstraZeneca COVID-19 vaccine for Canadians 30+

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