More countries in Europe have suspended the use of the AstraZeneca COVID-19 vaccine after several reports of blood clots in people who received the jab.
Prime Minister Justin Trudeau told reporters in Montreal on Monday that none of the AstraZeneca doses sent to Canada are connected to the batch linked to possible side effects in Europe.
Germany, France and Italy have suspended administering the vaccine, joining Iceland, Denmark, Bulgaria, Norway, the Netherlands and Ireland.
Physicians in Simcoe-Muskoka and five other regions began contacting eligible patients aged 60-64 last week to book a time to receive the AstraZeneca vaccine. This is part of a pilot announced by the Ontario government.
The World Health Organization has said there is no scientific evidence that the shot had caused clotting in people who had received it, and urged countries not to suspend vaccinations.
Trudeau’s comments were echoed by Quebec Premier Francois Legault who told reporters at the same news conference that provincial health officials saw no risk with the AstraZeneca vaccine.
The PM said Health Canada regulators have guaranteed vaccines approved in this country are safe for use.
He urged Canadians to get immunized as quickly as possible and to take whatever vaccine is first offered to them.