National Advisory Committee on Immunization (NACI) is now recommending that individuals who received a single dose of the AstraZeneca COVID-19 vaccine be given an mRNA vaccine, Pfizer-BioNTech or Moderna vaccine, for their second dose.
"An mRNA vaccine is now preferred as the second dose for individuals who received a first dose of the AstraZeneca/COVISHIELD vaccine, based on emerging evidence of a potentially better immune response from this mixed vaccine schedule and to mitigate the potential risk of VITT [vaccine-induced immune thrombotic thrombocytopenia] associated with viral vector vaccines," the recommendation from NACI reads.
Despite this guidance, the committee is also signalling that Canadians who have been fully vaccinated with AstraZeneca should "rest assured that the vaccine provides good protection against infection and very good protection against severe disease and hospitalization."
Naci has now recommended people complete their series with an mrna vaccine
This is based on safety, immunogenicity, and a potential advantage against delta
For those who got two shots of AZ you’re still well protected and shouldn’t have regrets
— Zain Chagla (@zchagla) June 17, 2021
"The emerging evidence suggesting better immune responses when a first dose of the AstraZeneca vaccine is followed by a second dose of the Pfzier-BioNTech or Moderna mRNA vaccines," Dr. Theresa Tam, Canada's chief public health officer said at a press conference on Thursday.
"NACI’s earlier recommendation that people who wanted earlier vaccination could receive a viral vector vaccine rather than wait for mRNA reflected supply of mRNA vaccines at the time."
Canadians who have received the AstraZeneca vaccine took to social media to express some concerns about the changes.
One of the things I'll remember the most from this pandemic is how many times NACI made a huge announcement publicly, scared/angered the public, and left the pharmacists and family doctors who actually give vaccines to pick up the pieces. https://t.co/Mr2yK0cvmE
— Dr. Kelly Grindrod 🇨🇦 PharmD (@kgrindrod) June 17, 2021
So now, 3 weeks after my second dose of AstraZeneca , Canada’s vaccine advisory announces it’s not preferred.😬
— Joanne Enser (@McCaughey333) June 17, 2021
Last week she turned down a Moderna on Thursday to get a 2nd AstraZeneca the following Sunday on supposed government medical advice. I guess the diverse portfolio isn't all it was cracked up to be
— Jay Kowal (@jaycola) June 17, 2021
But some continue to share that they are comfortable getting two doses of AstraZeneca.
I’m going to pay attention to research and that’s why I am comfortable with AstraZeneca. All the approved vaccines are virtually equal following 2nd dose at preventing serious illness, hospitalization and death.
— Robert Wiseman 🦂 (@RobertAWiseman) June 17, 2021
I got my first shot on April 28 (AstraZeneca) and the original second shot was July 30. If I could get #2 shot today then I would
— Miroslav Glavić🍁 (@MiroslavGlavic) June 17, 2021
Dr. Tam stressed that NACI's guidance has evolved with emerging evidence, while recognizing that it can be difficult to understand and catch up to the changes being made.
Canadians with AstraZeneca vaccine facing issues travelling to U.S.
This announcement also comes as COVID-19 protocol in the U.S. dictates that individuals will not be able to attend Springsteen on Broadway if vaccinated with a vaccine not authorized by the FDA, which includes AstraZeneca.
I’m hoping the Canadian government fights for astrazeneca rights when discussing reopening the borders… if I can’t get into the US because I made the best decision I could at the time based on government directive, that will be REALLY unfair.
— emma (@crystaIships) June 17, 2021
Oh my gosh. If you received Astra Zeneca vaccines, you will be considered unvaccinated when traveling to the US because that vaccine isn’t FDA approved. Now the vaccine passports aren’t even equitable among the vaccinated!
— Katie Somers (@theladykatie) June 17, 2021
Like Coke and Pepsi except Pfizer is Coke . I can’t book any 2nd dose in Ontario and I really don’t want AstraZeneca because the US seems to be only approving mRNA to travel there
— JoJo / half AstraZeneca🏳️🌈🇨🇦 🇦🇲 (@jojoten0) June 17, 2021