Nova Scotia will pause the use of AstraZeneca’s COVID-19 vaccine as the first dose effective today, May 12.
The decision is based on an abundance of caution due to an observed increase in the rare blood clotting condition linked to this vaccine and because Nova Scotia has enough mRNA vaccine to immunize people age 40 and older.
Anyone who is scheduled to receive their first dose of AstraZeneca vaccine will receive an email canceling that appointment and asking them to book a new appointment for either the Pfizer or Moderna vaccine.
A decision on second doses will be made once more information is received from the National Advisory Committee on Immunization. Nova Scotia’s vaccine plan will be adjusted based on this guidance.
The AstraZeneca vaccine has been linked to vaccine-induced immune thrombotic thrombocytopenia, or VITT, in other provinces.
Anyone with any of the following symptoms after receiving the AstraZeneca vaccine should seek medical help right away or call 911 and say they have received the vaccine:
- shortness of breath
- chest pain
- stomach pain that will not go away
- leg swelling
- a sudden and severe headache
- a headache that will not go away and is getting worse
- blurred vision
- skin bruising (other than the area vaccinated), reddish or purplish spots, or blood blisters under the skin
The above symptoms are most likely to occur between days four and 14 after receiving the AstraZeneca vaccine.
- the province received 60,000 doses of AstraZeneca vaccine and as of the end of day May 11, 57,576 doses of AstraZeneca vaccine have been administered