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Surrey teachers worried about possible side effects after receiving AstraZeneca vaccine

Last Updated Mar 29, 2021 at 7:01 pm PDT

FILE: Doctor Anil Mehta administers a dose of the AstraZeneca vaccine to a homeless person at the Welcome Centre in Ilford, east London, Friday, Feb. 5, 2021. (AP Photo/Frank Augstein)

Many Surrey teaching staff have already received the AstraZeneca vaccine before NACI recommended a pause

Surrey Teachers Association president says he's hearing from some worried members about possible side effects

Surrey teachers who have appointments booked this week will be getting the Pfizer vaccine

SURREY (NEWS 1130) — After the National Advisory Committee on Immunization changed its advice on the AstraZeneca vaccine Monday, the Surrey Teachers Association president says he’s hearing from worried members who received their dose last week.

The NACI says “very rare” blood clots in Europe mean that for now, those under 55 shouldn’t get the Astra Zeneca shot.

RELATED: NACI recommends pause on use of AstraZeneca vaccine for those under 55

Since the announcement, Matt Westphal says some staff who were vaccinated Sunday didn’t make it into work Monday, leaving the district to cover for staff.

He says several thousand Surrey school staff have already received the AstraZeneca vaccine over the past four or five days.

“So that’s certainly a concern for a lot of those people have contacted me are very worried about what this means,” Westphal says.

The other concern members have included what the implications are for the vaccination program.

“We think that’s a really important piece of protection for people in certain schools. We have been told that today, all scheduled vaccination appointments will be the Pfizer vaccine. We don’t have confirmation on anything beyond today, but we hope they will find a way to continue with the vaccinations.”

Westphal says it is especially concerning since people who received their vaccine were excited to finally receive their dose.

“They’ve been on a roller coaster, they’re happy to get vaccinated — now they’re hearing it may not have been safe,” he says. “[It’s] certainly an uneasy feeling for those people as they return to work.”

The Fraser Health Authority has confirmed doses administered this week will be the Pfizer vaccine.

Meanwhile, NEWS 1130 has confirmed no Vancouver Police force members have received their first dose yet.

Union leader Ralph Kaisers says first responders are still waiting for clinics to be set up and they haven’t been told yet which vaccine will be administered to them.


– With files from Cormac Mac Sweeney