Canada to Throw Out 13.6 Million Expired Doses of AstraZeneca COVID-19 Vaccine

Health Canada announced that the COVID vaccines expired following a lack of demand in the country as well as abroad

Covid-19 Vaccines
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Canada is preparing to throw away 13.6 million doses of its available AstraZeneca COVID-19 vaccine due to a lack of demand.

According to the Associated Press, Canada signed a contract with the company in 2020 to receive 20 million doses of its vaccine. Following the agreement, between March and June 2021, about 2.3 million Canadians reportedly received at least one dose.

However, following fears of possible blood clots from AstraZeneca, Canada leaned more toward vaccines from Pfizer-BioNTech and Moderna.

Despite the country vowing to donate its additional 17.7 million AstraZeneca doses, Health Canada told the news outlet that 13.6 million doses have expired and will be thrown out after the country failed to find anyone to take them within its borders or abroad.

"Due to limited demand for the vaccine and recipient country challenges with distribution and absorption, they were not accepted," the statement said, per AP.

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AstraZeneca Plc and the University of Oxford Covid-19 vaccine
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In March 2021, a U.S.-based clinical trial found that AstraZeneca's COVID-19 vaccine is 79 percent effective against symptomatic disease and 100 percent effective against severe disease and hospitalization.

The results from the Phase 3 trial, which involved 32,449 adult participants of all ages receiving either two doses of the vaccine or a placebo at a four-week interval, found that the vaccine "was well tolerated" and had "no safety concerns."

The U.S.-based results came after four European countries — Germany, Spain, Italy and France — all suspended use of AstraZeneca's COVID-19 vaccine, which was also developed by the University of Oxford, over concerns that it causes blood clots. Several other countries, including the Netherlands, Denmark, Norway and Ireland also halted use of the vaccine.

The concern began after some people who had received the vaccine reported they developed blood clots, however, the number of cases was small. At the time, AstraZeneca said in a statement that out of the more than 17 million people who received the vaccine, there were 15 cases of deep vein thrombosis (DVT) and 22 cases of pulmonary embolism.

However, both AstraZeneca and the World Health Organization (WHO) said that the vaccine is safe and effective and that there is no proven connection between the blood clots and the vaccine.

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