AstraZeneca Vaxzevria™ is no longer offered in Saskatchewan as existing supplies have expired and the Government of Canada is not securing additional doses. Information on this page is for general information only and will not be updated.

Product Information

Indication

  • Individuals 18 year and older

Dose

NOTE: If any interval is longer than recommended, there is no reason to restart the series. Provide the next dose as soon as possible.

Primary Series

  • 2* x 0.5 ml doses given IM (preferably deltoid)
    • The 2nd dose should be given between 4 and 12 weeks after the 1st.
      • NACI advises an interval of at least 8 weeks between the 1st and 2nd doses is optimal.
      • Local transmission of the SARS-CoV-2 virus, the degree of individual risk of exposure to the virus, and the need of a 2nd dose for earlier protection should be considered when deciding the interval.
      • Individuals who completed their primary vaccine series using the manufacturer-authorized intervals also have very good protection against severe COVID-19 disease and do not need to restart their vaccine series.

*Immunocompromised individuals should preferably receive 3 doses of mRNA vaccine for the primary series. Those who have received 1 or 2 doses of Vaxzevria™ should receive 2 or 1 doses, respectively, of mRNA vaccine at least 28 days apart to complete the 3-dose series.

Booster Doses

  • It is recommended that individuals who received two doses of Vaxzevria™ as a primary series receive mRNA vaccines (Pfizer-BioNTech Comirnaty™ or Moderna Spikevax™) for booster doses. Novavax Nuvaxovid™ (only available through Public Health) could be given to those for whom there is a contraindication to an mRNA vaccine. 
  • See details of eligibility criteria/intervals of additional doses in Saskatchewan here.

Adverse Effects

  • Only short to medium term data are available at this time. Surveillance will continue for long-term adverse effects.
  • The most commonly reported adverse effects included:  
    • injection site tenderness
    • injection site pain
    • fatigue
    • headache
    • myalgia
    • malaise
    • pyrexia
    • chills
    • arthralgia
    • nausea
  • Rare adverse effects
    • VITT
      • The combination of thrombosis and thrombocytopenia, in some cases accompanied by bleeding, has been reported post-market following vaccination with AstraZeneca Vaxzevria™. This adverse event is being referred to as Vaccine-induced Immune Thrombotic Thrombocytopenia (VITT).
      • Health Canada has released a safety alert; the product monograph now includes this information in the Warnings and Precautions section.
      • Health Canada is soliciting further data from AstraZeneca, will continue to monitor and will take further action if necessary. 
    • Capillary leak syndrome
      • Very rare cases of capillary leak syndrome (CLS) have been reported following immunization with AstraZeneca Vaxzevria™ COVID-19 vaccine. Some affected patients had a previous diagnosis of CLS. CLS is a serious, potentially fatal condition characterized by acute episodes of limb edema, hypotension, hemoconcentration and hypoalbuminemia. Individuals with a history of CLS should not receive AstraZeneca Vaxzevria™.
    • Guillain-Barré Syndrome
      • Very rare events of demyelinating disorders, such as Guillain-Barré Syndrome (GBS), have been reported following vaccination with AstraZeneca Vaxzevria™ during post-authorization use.
    • Thrombocytopenia
      • Cases of thrombocytopenia, including immune thrombocytopenia, have been reported following receipt of AstraZeneca Vaxzevria™. This differs from VITT in that these cases were not associated with thrombosis.

Drug Interactions

  • There are no known drug interactions. 
References

04 May 2022

  • Age
    • AstraZeneca Vaxzevria™ COVID-19 Vaccine is approved for use in persons 18 years of age and older. 

  • Serious adverse or allergic reaction to previous dose of viral vector COVID-19 vaccine unless determined safe by an allergist or other healthcare provider
    • Individuals who experienced a severe immediate allergic reaction (e.g. anaphylaxis) after a dose of viral vector COVID-19 vaccine can be subsequently vaccinated with an mRNA COVID-19 vaccine in a controlled setting after consulting with an allergist or another appropriate physician if risk assessment deems benefits outweigh risks for the individual and informed consent is provided. Individuals should be observed for at least 30 minutes after vaccination.
  • Reported hypersensitivity to one of the ingredients. See product monographs for ingredients. 
    • In individuals with a confirmed severe immediate allergic reaction (e.g., anaphylaxis) to a component of this vaccine or its container, consultation with an allergist is recommended before receiving the vaccine.
    • Polysorbate 80 is a potentially allergenic ingredient.

  • Individuals with a history of the following conditions should not receive this vaccine:
    • heparin-induced thrombocytopenia (HIT)
    • thrombosis associated with lupus anticoagulant (thrombotic antiphospholipid syndrome)
    • major venous or arterial thrombosis with thrombocytopenia following viral vector COVID-19 vaccine
    • capillary leak syndrome

  • It is recommended individuals with a history of cerebral venous sinus thrombosis (CVST) with thrombocytopenia only receive this vaccine if benefit outweighs risk; mRNA COVID-19 vaccine is preferred.

  • For individuals with a history of immune thrombocytopenia, platelet monitoring may be recommended following vaccination with a viral vector vaccine.
  • Pregnancy
    • mRNA vaccines are preferred in pregnancy but receipt of Vaxzevria™ during pregnancy is not a reason to terminate pregnancy. 

  • Currently feeling unwell with symptoms that could be COVID-19.
    • to avoid confusion if symptoms arise/worsen as they could be adverse effects of the vaccine or because of the underlying infection
    • to prevent potential transmission to others who are at the vaccine clinic/site (individuals should be following public health self-isolation recommendations)

  • Breastfeeding/Immunocompromised/Autoimmune Conditions
    • These populations were excluded from the initial vaccine trials.
    • Based on real world data indicating COVID-19 vaccines are safe in these populations, NACI’s recommendations for COVID-19 vaccination in these populations are now the same as those for the general adult population, which is to receive a complete series of mRNA vaccine and to complete a series initiated with Vaxzevria™ with mRNA vaccine.  
      • Regarding special populations, most of the data have come from mRNA vaccines.
      • However, Novavax Nuvaxovid™ may be used if there are any contraindications to mRNA vaccine or if mRNA vaccine is not accessible.
    • See information in similarly titled tabs for the Pfizer-BioNTech Comirnaty™ and Moderna Spikevax™ vaccines
References

04 May 2022

Current Infection
  • Individuals with current infection should not present for vaccination to prevent transmission to others at the vaccination clinic/site and should follow public health self-isolation recommendations.
Past Infection
  • If acute symptoms have resolved, the individual can be vaccinated. Following public health self-isolation recommendations is suggested.
  • NACI has suggested intervals between SARS-Co-V-2 infection and COVID-19 vaccination.
    • Note that these are suggested, not required intervals. These intervals have not been recommended in Saskatchewan, but there are also no recommendations in Saskatchewan against these longer intervals.
    • Based on vaccine and immunology principles, longer intervals between infection and vaccination are expected to produce more robust and durable responses to the vaccine.
    • Because mRNA vaccines are preferred, see similar questions in Pfizer-BioNTech Comirnaty™ or Moderna Spikevax™ FAQs for more details.
References

14 Feb 2022