OTTAWA, ON. – The AstraZeneca COVID-19 vaccine can now be given to seniors in Canada.

The National Advisory Committee on Immunizations (NACI) reversed its decision early Tuesday, March 16. 

NACI officials said three recent real-world studies provided evidence that the vaccine is safe for use in older adults and also gives protection against severe illness from the virus.

In February, Health Canada gave the green light to the AstraZeneca vaccine for use in adults 18 years of age and older, however, within two days NACI recommended its use be limited to individuals between the ages of 18 and 64. 

The Committee now says new real-world evidence from the United Kingdom, which has been giving the shot to people 65 years of age and older since January, shows the vaccine is safe and effective in older adults.