AstraZeneca’s COVID-19 vaccine will not be administered to anyone 65 years and older in Ontario, the Ministry of Health confirmed to Daily Hive.
The decision was based on the National Advisory Committee on Immunization (NACI) recommending that the AstraZeneca vaccine only be given to those 64 and younger.
“This is based on a number of considerations, including limited available information on the efficacy of this vaccine in individuals 65 and older, at this time,” the spokesperson said in a statement on Tuesday night.
According to the Ministry of Health, updates on Ontario’s ongoing vaccine rollout will be released in the near future based on ongoing conversations with the federal government on Ontario’s allocations and delivery timelines for the AstraZeneca vaccine, as well as the timing for administering of second doses of the Pfizer and Moderna vaccines.
On Monday the NACI released a statement on not recommending the use of the vaccine for those 65 and older. In clinical trials, COVID-19 vaccines have demonstrated high efficacy (approximately 94%), although the AstraZeneca COVID-19 vaccine has demonstrated an average efficacy of approximately 62% in those 18 to 64 years of age.
NACI noted there “is currently insufficient evidence on the duration of protection and on the efficacy of these vaccines in preventing death, hospitalization, asymptomatic infection and reducing transmission of SARS-CoV-2, although studies are ongoing.”
Last week, Health Canada announced it had approved two new COVID-19 vaccines, resulting in the country’s third and fourth shots authorized for use across the country.