OTTAWA, ON – Canada’s top vaccine authority now recommends AstraZeneca’s COVID-19 vaccine be offered to those 30 and older.

The National Advisory Committee on Immunizations (NACI) says the vaccine can be offered to those in the age group who don’t want to wait for an mRNA vaccine with the benefits outweighing the risk.

Those who want it must not have pre-existing symptoms or medical conditions.

The new guidance was expected from NACI earlier this week, but was postponed because new data on variants had surfaced and needed to be analyzed.

The federal government has authorized the use of AstraZeneca’s COVID-19 vaccine in Canada for adults 18 and over with Health Canada labelling the shot as safe and effective.

The new age limit comes in light of the fifth Canadian case of the rare, but serious blood clotting condition associated with taking the AstraZeneca/COVISHIELD vaccine.

NACI said at the end of the day, provinces and territories are responsible for determining their vaccination policies, and that NACI’s guidance is considered but not mandated in their decision-making.