National Panel Advises Provinces Not to Use AstraZeneca Vaccine on Seniors

March 1, 2021 Updated: March 1, 2021

A national panel of vaccine experts says provinces should not use AstraZeneca’s COVID-19 vaccine on seniors.

The vaccine was authorized for use Friday on all adults, including seniors, but the National Advisory Committee on Immunization is concerned there is limited data on how well the vaccine will work in older populations.

There are no concerns that the vaccine is not safe for use.

NACI says the two mRNA vaccines from Pfizer-BioNTech and Moderna should be prioritized for Canadians over 65, while AstraZeneca should be offered to people under 65.

While all three vaccines are 100 percent effective against death and hospitalization as a result of COVID-19, clinical trials suggested mRNA vaccines were more effective at preventing COVID-19 infections.

The panel’s advice helps provincial governments determine how best to use the vaccines available to them but provinces can make their own calls about what to do.