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May. 8, 2021 | Saturday
Editorials and Opinions
Letter: Seniors conflicted on AstraZeneca vaccine

Dear editor:

Thousands of Canadian seniors over the age of 65, typically the more cautious sector of the population, are conflicted over the use of the COVID-19 vaccine from AstraZeneca.

As close to 20 countries worldwide pause its use, Canada in recent days has been swift to do a U-turn and approve it for seniors over 65. Was this, they ask, a political rather than a pure scientific decision and influenced in large part by the lack of vaccine deliveries here in Canada?

In a similar manner they professed to the provinces extending the medical professionals' recommended time between the first and the second shot, from two to three weeks out to three months and now four months. It seems to be a real shotgun reaction to lack of supply and the rush to extend vaccines to as many residents as possible.

Question: Will Dr. Mustafa Hirji and his team members, and Sean Simpson, for example, representing the pharmacy section, strongly advocate for vaccines, other than AstraZeneca?

There appears to be an inordinate amount of political influence on these conflicting guidelines, both from the scientific and pharmaceutical manufacturing world. Perhaps it is a self-preservation reaction as both are highly dependent on billions of dollars in research grants from their respective governments.

As a consequence of these conflicting signals, seniors in large numbers will refuse the AstraZeneca vaccine. They are scared with all the reports out of Europe about blood clots and deaths. We need a world spokesperson who will speak with one authoritative voice on these matters.

Not Prime Minister Justin Trudeau, Premier Doug Ford or Ret. Gen. Rick Hillier,  who all have a vested interest in creating a diversion away from their collective vaccine rollout fiasco. Left to them, they will next be recommending we get a flu shot every two years.

Samuel Young