Canada’s health department announced on Thursday that it will continue to use AstraZeneca Plc’s COVID-19 vaccine joining its European counterparts, saying the shots were not associated with an overall increase in blood clots.
“Health Canada confirms that the benefits of the AstraZeneca COVID-19 vaccine in protecting Canadians from COVID-19 continue to outweigh the risks,” the regulator said in a statement.
The health department said: “To date in Canada, there has been one report of a stroke that occurred in an individual following vaccination, and this case has been assessed by Health Canada and determined not to be related to the vaccine.”
Earlier, the European Union said the vaccine was “safe and effective” and British regulators said its use should continue, after reports of rare blood clots prompted over a dozen countries to suspend the use of the vaccine.
Germany, France and other European nations have since announced plans to resume using the vaccine.
Health Canada also said it had assessed available data on the events and had determined the shot was not associated with an increase in the overall risk of blood clots.
The country is using AstraZeneca doses made at the Serum Institute of India. It has received 500,000 doses and expects to get 1.5 million more by May.