Ebene Magazine – Expect COVID-19 vaccine guidelines to keep changing, federal health officials say

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Ebene Magazine - Expect COVID-19 vaccine guidelines to keep changing, federal health officials say

Rachel Aiello
Ottawa News Bureau online producer

@rachaiello
Contact

OTTAWA –
To create confusion about what to make of advice from a federal panel of medical experts that the second dose of COVID-19 vaccine should be delayed for up to four months, are federal health officials saying the latest guidelines are for that? ??? Complement, not mirrorâ ???? Health Canada’s official approvals for the use of these vaccines and the fact that Canadians should expect advice on best administration strategy to change constantly.

Late Wednesday, the National Advisory Committee on Immunization (NACI) issued new guidelines indicating that the time window between shots for all three currently approved vaccines – Pfizer-BioNTech, Moderna, and AstraZeneca – can now be delayed by up to four Months but still effective.

The approach of delaying the administration of all second doses by four months is in contrast to the original Health Canada approval for these vaccines: the second Pfizer dose should be given approximately 21 days after the first, which should be The Second Moderna Shot should be given approximately 28 days after the first, and the second dose of AstraZeneca should be given between four and 12 weeks after the first.

Dr. Howard Njoo, deputy chief of the public health department, said Thursday that the latest guidance is intended to play the role of Canada’s National Advisory Committee on Immunization (NACI) in the use of COVID-19 vaccines meant to complement, not mirror ? the official Health Canada approvals for the use of these vaccines.

Njoo said the difference in messaging between the two national agencies was inherently different, suggesting provinces should consider both Health Canada guidelines and expert advice when planning their ongoing vaccine adoption strategies / p>
You have likely noticed that NACI’s recommendations are sometimes different, possibly broader or narrower than the Health Canada approved terms for vaccine use. As a regulator, Health Canada approves any vaccine for use in Canada based on factors based on evidence from clinical trials, while NACI bases its guidance on available and evolving evidence in a real-world context, including the availability of other vaccines. ?? Said Njoo.

NACI says it came to this conclusion after considering evidence from recent scientific studies and « real world effectiveness ». which show a high level of protection after a shot. Although data remain limited and are still evolving in the best timeframe for the first and second vaccinations of the three currently approved vaccines, all of which are two-dose therapies.

Health Canada’s senior media advisor, Dr. Supriya Sharma, went out of his way to explain the process further and explain why there seem to be different guidelines at national level – it has never changed. « That’s not what science does. »

« We want to make sure that people have confidence in the decisions that are made about vaccines, be it at the regulator level or broader recommendations from NACI or the provinces and territories. » It’s really important that people know that this is going to change. We are now in this place where we have multiple approved vaccines, we have huge mass vaccination campaigns going on all over the world and the responsible job is to make sure we get all of this information and include that in our decision making, ??? ?? She said.

While NACI’s recommendations are recommendations and not rules that allow provinces to continue adapting their vaccination rollout campaigns to the pandemic reality in each region, the new proposed approach has already been adopted by several provinces in the past few days / p>
Njoo stated on Thursday that while the major change to the vaccination strategy target posts appears to be coming very quickly, NACI notified provincial health officials over the weekend.

« What then happened is that some provinces … went public in order to move forward with the good information and evidence they heard on Sunday, and so you can see it is happening in real time. » with various provinces already making their views based on the information and evidence presented by NACI over the weekend. he said.

NACI’s new guidance states that prioritizing the first doses when there is a limited supply of COVID-19 vaccines would allow jurisdictions to maximize the number of people immunized with a first dose that provides initial immunity earlier than it It remains to be seen how the logistics of the rollout would have to be adapted to adopt this approach.

British Columbia’s Prime Minister John Horgan spoke about his province’s decision to postpone the second dose for up to four months during a press conference with other Prime Ministers Thursday. to make one.

« We want to get as many first doses as possible, and when federal government sourcing kicks off in the third quarter, it will be time to go back and get those second shots. » ??? he said. « We believe this is the way to go. »

Similarly, Alberta Prime Minister Jason Kenney said that while NACI’s guidance was a factor, there have also been real-world examples in countries that are further ahead in vaccinating their citizens, suggesting that a longer window between shots is an effective strategy.

Kenney also pointed to the slow adoption of the cans, saying the provinces had « no choice ». but to lengthen the interval between to « more people covered » ???? move faster to greater immunity in the population.

New Brunswick Prime Minister Blaine Higgs said the introduction of the second dose delay will help the province’s borders open. « We’re focusing on this spring and getting back to normal this spring and I think we can do that, » he said.

Major general. Dany Fortin, who heads national logistics for vaccine rollout, said Thursday that it is possible that coupled with the approval of additional vaccines and larger shipments in the coming months, the overall schedule could be accelerated. But for the time being, the end of September remains the goal that you want to achieve

CTVNews.ca reached out to Health Minister Patty Hajdu’s office to inquire whether the federal government had commented on the move to prioritize the first doses for more people before injecting the second dose months later.

The infectious disease, immunology, pharmacy, epidemiology and public health experts that make up this advisory body are considered independent by the government. The panel makes recommendations to the Government of Canada on the use of vaccines approved for use in Canada based on analysis of the best scientific evidence currently available.

The body has existed since 1964 and advises on various new vaccines. However, since the beginning of the pandemic, it has mainly focused on COVID-19 vaccines and their prioritization. It reports to the Department of Infectious Disease Prevention and Control of the Department of Health of Canada.

Njoo said NACI will continue to monitor evidence of the effectiveness of a delayed second dose and « adjust recommendations as needed ».

Dr. Howard Njoo, deputy chief public health officer for the Canadian Public Health Agency; Dr. Supriya Sharma, Chief Medical Officer for Health Canada; and Dr. Marc Berthiaume, Director of the Medical Sciences Bureau for Health Canada, provides an overview of the COVID-19 situation in Canada during a press conference on Wednesday, December 23, 2020 at the Sir John A. Macdonald Building in Ottawa THE CANADIAN PRESS / David Kawai

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