'It caused a lot of concern': northern Ont. pharmacist reacts to AstraZeneca suspension
SUDBURY -- A total of 654 people received their first dose of the AstraZeneca vaccine at the Walden Family Drugstore in Lively, Ont..
On Tuesday, the province announced use of the vaccine is suspended until Canada’s National Advisory Committee on Immunization provides recommendations amid concerns about rare but serious blood clotting incidents.
“It caused a lot of concern with some people,” said Todd Duhamel, pharmacist at Walden Family Drugstore. "People who’ve already had the dose (are) wondering what they are going to do about their second dose. As well, we have a long waiting list of about 1,500 people waiting for a first dose."
Dr. David Williams, the province’s chief medical officer of health, said new data suggests the risk of vaccine-induced thrombotic thrombocytopenia may be higher than initially thought – about one in 60,000 people, rather than one in 125,000.
“Anybody that received it here is likely out of the woods," Duhamel said. "If something strange were to happen, you would go to the emergency room to be checked out. As far as anybody who’s thinking about getting their first shot, I really do still recommend (to) get it done, whether it be Pfizer or Moderna … It's really our way out of this pandemic. Restrictions help, but the shot is what is going to get us out of here.”
Gerry Wasney received his first dose of the AstraZeneca vaccine at the Lively pharmacy.
“I’m just waiting for it," Wasney said, of his second dose. "I asked if they were going to mix it. They said they don’t know, they may wait for reserves to be put on hold to continue the AstraZeneca. I’m fine either way.”
It is not yet clear if those who received AstraZeneca for their first dose will be able to choose what they receive for their second. Ontario currently has about 50,000 doses of the AstraZeneca vaccine that have not been used and it is expected to receive a shipment of 250,000 more next week.