Ontario gives green light on mixing vaccines

·2 min read

Ontarians looking to receive their second dose of the AstraZeneca vaccine now have a few more options.

Those who received the AstraZeneca COVID-19 vaccine will be able to choose between the same vaccine or an mRNA one like Pfizer-BioNTech or Moderna when booking their second-dose appointments.

The advice follows a similar recommendation this week from the National Advisory Committee on Immunization.

“We are providing individuals who have received only their first dose of the AstraZeneca vaccine with two recommended options,” said Chief Medical Officer of Health Doctor David Williams.

As of Friday, June 4, individuals who want the second dose of AstraZeneca can contact the pharmacy or primary care provider where they received their first to book an appointment, and if they would like to receive an mRNA vaccine as a second dose, they can make an appointment at a pharmacy where Pfizer or Moderna are being offered.

“Nothing is more important than the health of Ontarians, and for the best protection against COVID-19, it is vital that everyone who received the AstraZeneca vaccine for their first dose receives the second dose of a COVID-19 vaccine,” said Williams.

He said individuals who have received only their first dose of the AstraZeneca vaccine are being offered two recommended options based on the available data and evidence, and they will continue to work with Health Canada to monitor the quality and efficacy of all COVID-19 vaccines being used in Ontario.

According to Chatham-Kent’s Medical officer of Health, the news means a lot more flexibility for vaccination programs.

“The ability to use a different vaccine for a second dose than was used for a first dose will make it much easier to administer vaccination programs and provide a lot of flexibility,” said David Colby. “We’re very excited about it.”

Approximately 4.7-million doses of Pfizer vaccine are expected to arrive in Ontario this month, with an additional 3.5-million in July.

As of June 2, 9.4-million vaccine doses had been administered across Ontario. More than 69 percent of the population over the age of 18 has had at least one dose, and more than 834,900 Ontario residents are now fully vaccinated.

Bird Bouchard, Local Journalism Initiative Reporter, The Ridgetown Independent News