Niagara pharmacist supports suspension of AstraZeneca for 1st doses, and says 2nd dose has less risk

vaccine general bonnie

Ontario says it expects to receive more than 254,000 doses of the Oxford-AstraZeneca COVID-19 vaccine next week and will be reserving them for second shots.

The province announced a pause yesterday on using AstraZeneca for first shots due to an increased risk of a rare blood-clotting syndrome linked to the vaccine.

Pharmacist at Boggio Edwards, Donnie Edwards, had been administering the shots to hundreds of residents until his supply ran out two weeks ago.

To hear Edward's interview with CKTB's Tim Denis click here.

He supports the government's decision to pause the doses, saying safety comes first.

"Out of caution this is probably the correct decision to make. The rare blood clotting disorder.... the numbers were 1 in 100,000 and that is what we were telling people all along, but in the last few days there has been evidence suggesting it was more than that. There are now saying now to be closer to 1 in 60,000."

"I really think this is out of caution. I think it makes sense that we hold the AstraZeneca for first dose. We support anything that will be safer for our patients."

Edwards says his focus now is to get Pfzier and Moderna doses into pharmacies to give to residents.

He believes work is underway on that and it should be offered by June.

Edwards says he knows people are looking for second doses, and residents should feel confident that the risk of the blood clot disorder fell to 1 in 1M when people received a second shot.