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1.5M AstraZeneca doses on loan from U.S. on their way to provinces

Click to play video: 'Do the benefits of the AstraZeneca COVID-19 vaccine outweigh the risk?' Do the benefits of the AstraZeneca COVID-19 vaccine outweigh the risk?
WATCH: Do the benefits of the AstraZeneca COVID-19 vaccine outweigh the risk? – Mar 30, 2021

More than 1.5 million doses of the Oxford-AstraZeneca vaccine are on their way to provinces now that Health Canada has authorized the U.S. sites where they were made.

It remains to be seen how many Canadians will be eager to get them, as part of the fallout from Monday’s decision to pause the use of the AstraZeneca vaccine for anyone under the age of 55 pending more analysis on the risk of blood clots.

Read more: Ontario expands AstraZeneca vaccine program to pharmacies across the province

There were signs in British Columbia Wednesday that many won’t need convincing.

Long lineups formed outside pharmacies that began administering the doses to people over 55 for the first time, after the province’s initial plan to direct it to essential workers was felled by the pause on giving it to younger Canadians.

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Click to play video: 'Metro Van pharmacies left scrambling after approval of AstraZeneca vaccine for residents aged 55-65' Metro Van pharmacies left scrambling after approval of AstraZeneca vaccine for residents aged 55-65
Metro Van pharmacies left scrambling after approval of AstraZeneca vaccine for residents aged 55-65 – Mar 31, 2021

Ontario is ramping up its AstraZeneca rollout this weekend, doubling the number of pharmacies that will get it, and expanding the age from 60 to 64 years old to 55 to 64.

Read more: With 300,000 AstraZeneca doses set to expire April 2, will provinces use them up?

Most provinces say they have used up almost their entire supply of the first 500,000 doses delivered last month, including the 300,000 doses that expire Friday.

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