VICTORIA — British Columbia residents who received the Oxford-AstraZeneca vaccine will be able to choose if they want to stay with the same shot or take one of the other options.
Provincial health officer Dr. Bonnie Henry said Thursday those who received the AstraZeneca vaccine earlier this year made "the right choice" in getting vaccinated, and helped to ease the COVID-19 caseload in the province.
She said research has shown that it is safe and effective to mix and match COVID-19 vaccine options.
"We know it's just as good to get a second dose of AstraZeneca or to get a second dose of a mRNA vaccine after having the first dose of AstraZeneca," she said, referring to the Pfizer-BioNTech and Moderna vaccines.
"Both of these are equally good options."
Henry said the province is having issues maintaining a steady supply of the Moderna vaccine, which means some who received it as a first dose may get the Pfizer vaccine as their second.
Research out of the U.K. has shown that those who receive a second dose of a different vaccine are more likely to suffer a mild side-effect, such as a sore arm or chills, but not serious ones, she said.
People who received the AstraZeneca vaccine as a first shot will also be offered the opportunity to re-book their second-dose appointments if they aren't comfortable with the vaccine offered.
Appointments for those who received the AstraZeneca vaccine will open next week, Henry said.
B.C. reported 199 new cases of COVID-19, for a total of 144,866, along with two new deaths.
Henry said 71.8 per cent of the province's eligible adult population has received a first dose of vaccine.
Health Minister Adrian Dix said more than 60,000 doses of vaccine were administered on Wednesday.
This report by The Canadian Press was first published June 3, 2021.
The Canadian Press