P.E.I. is suspending its use of the AstraZeneca-Oxford COVID-19 vaccine.
The province had set aside its AstraZeneca vaccines for people aged 18 to 29 who are working directly with the public. It was being delivered by pharmacists in the province, separately from the provincially run vaccination clinics.
The province’s initial supply of 2,000 doses had been running short in some areas, but it was expecting another 6,000 doses this week.
On Monday morning, however, CBC News began hearing from Islanders that their appointments had been cancelled.
Responding to a CBC News email, a spokesperson for the Department of Health confirmed delivery of the vaccine had been suspended.
“Appointments at pharmacies for AstraZeneca vaccine for those 18-29 are on hold pending anticipated further information from Health Canada and NACI (National Advisory Committee on Immunization),” the email said.
“We expect more information on this later today.”
The email did not contain any information on why the vaccine was suspended.
Twenty-six-year-old Maggie Gordon was one of the Islanders who received a call Monday morning that her appointment had been cancelled.
“They just said that they have to rebook all of our appointments because the chief health officer has suspended the pharmacy vaccines for the week, and they weren’t sure why,” Gordon told CBC News.
The pharmacist didn’t know when they can rebook, she said.
“I just hope we get some information about why it’s being halted — if they are looking into the safety of it, if something happened in Canada — so what’s going on,” said Gordon.
“I do hope that the chief health officer responds quickly so there isn’t any hesitancy with getting the vaccine, because it is a great thing for us to be getting, and as many people should get it as possible.”