PEI

AstraZeneca vaccine will be 'gladly' accepted on P.E.I., premier says

Dr. Heather Morrison says she is glad to have another weapon in her COVID-19 arsenal now that the AstraZeneca-Oxford vaccine has been approved for use in people under 65.

New vaccine to be used on healthy adults between 18-64

Dr. Heather Morrison says P.E.I. is expecting its first shipment of the AstraZeneca-Oxford vaccine within the next week. (Ricardo Rojas/Reuters)

Dr. Heather Morrison says she is glad to have another weapon in her COVID-19 arsenal now that the AstraZeneca-Oxford vaccine has been approved for use in people under 65.

"Every vaccine is good for us and we will use it," she said in a COVID-19 briefing on Wednesday.

In addition to the AstraZeneca vaccine, Canada has also approved vaccines from Pfizer-BioNTech and Moderna. Dr. Theresa Tam, Canada's chief public health officer, said it is up to the provinces and territories to determine who is best placed to get which vaccines, but all are safe and effective in reducing serious illness and death connected to COVID-19.

Premier Dennis King said he told Prime Minister Justin Trudeau in a discussion Tuesday that P.E.I. is ready to receive the AstraZeneca vaccine.

"I confirmed to him that P.E.I. wants to get as many people vaccinated as fast as we possibly can to get through this and that we would gladly be accepting the AstraZeneca vaccine and putting it in the rotation through public health."

Morrison said the first shipments of the new vaccine should arrive within the next week.

Not recommended for those over 65

The National Advisory Committee on Immunization has recommended against using the AstraZeneca vaccine for people older than 65. 

Morrison said initially, the AstraZeneca vaccine will be reserved for "younger healthy adults that are front-line essential workers in certain categories."

Morrison reiterated that she'd like to see at least 80 per cent of P.E.I.'s adult population — which would be just over 100,000 Islanders — choose to get vaccinated with one of the vaccines.

"We know we will have enough vaccine," she said.

More from CBC P.E.I.

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