TORONTO, Canada: The province of Ontario, Canada will offer AstraZeneca vaccines to people 40 years and over.
This follows a worldwide halt in vaccinating the public with AstraZeneca, following concerns about some people who developed blood clots after being inoculated.
The change in policy will allow AstraZeneca vaccines to be used in combating a third wave of Covid in Ontario, Canada's most-populous province.
According to sources, AstraZeneca vaccines will be available beginning April 21.
Currently, the AstraZeneca vaccine is only available to Canadians 55 years or older.
Following a review of blood clots developing in recipients of the AstraZeneca vaccine in Europe, Canadian health officials initially announced that the vaccination would only be given to those over 55 years old. Now, however, it will be available to all Canadians over 40 years old.
Health Canada, the country's drug regulator, said after reviewing all available data that it would not restrict the use of the AstraZeneca vaccine, because its benefits outweigh its potential risks.
Health Canada noted that regulators in the UK had estimated four in one million people who receive the AstraZeneca vaccine had developed blood clots. It also said the complication was treatable.
In Canada, two people have developed blood clots from the AstraZeneca vaccine, and both are recovering.
On April 19, Ontario reported 4,250 new cases of COVID-19. Meanwhile, the Ontario Hospital Association reported that 59 patients were admitted to intensive care on Saturday, bringing the number of COVID-19 patients in ICUs to 737.