P.E.I. waiting for guidance on mixing vaccine doses

·2 min read
The AstraZeneca-Oxford COVID-19 vaccine is currently available for Islanders 55 and up. (Christof Stache/AFP/Getty Images - image credit)
The AstraZeneca-Oxford COVID-19 vaccine is currently available for Islanders 55 and up. (Christof Stache/AFP/Getty Images - image credit)

P.E.I. is still waiting for information from the National Advisory Committee on Immunization before it makes a decision on how to complete immunization of some young people who have already received a dose of the AstraZeneca-Oxford COVID-19 vaccine.

For about two weeks in March, Islanders 18 to 29 who worked with the public were being offered the AstraZeneca vaccine at a number of pharmacies. Its use, however, was suspended on March 29 on the news of blood clot complications out of Europe.

As further research came in the problem appeared to be more focused on young people, and AstraZeneca was offered to Islanders aged 55 and up.

At her regular weekly briefing Tuesday, Chief Public Health Officer Dr. Heather Morrison was asked what was happening with the required second dose for those young people who received a first dose.

Morrison responded that NACI is looking at whether those young people should receive a second dose of AstraZeneca, or whether it would be OK for them to receive one of the mRNA vaccines, Moderna or Pfizer-BioNTech.

"Those who are under 55, we will be awaiting a decision from NACI," said Morrison.

"It will be either to get a second dose of AstraZeneca or an mRNA vaccine. Either way there will be enough vaccine for second doses for those 18 to 29 who received AstraZeneca."

No need to book second appointment

Apart from that particular group of young people, Health PEI Chief of Nursing Marion Dowling said appointments for the second shot of vaccine are being booked automatically, and people should not call or try to book an appointment online.

Dowling also noted the province is not currently mixing vaccines.

"If you have received the first dose of AstraZeneca you cannot receive a second dose at our community clinics. Our community vaccine clinics do not have the AstraZeneca vaccine," said Dowling.

P.E.I. Chief Public Health Officer Dr. Heather Morrison, right, and Health PEI Chief of Nursing Marion Dowling at a COVID-19 pandemic briefing Tuesday.
P.E.I. Chief Public Health Officer Dr. Heather Morrison, right, and Health PEI Chief of Nursing Marion Dowling at a COVID-19 pandemic briefing Tuesday.(Shane Hennessey/CBC)

"Your second dose must be the same product as your first dose at this time."

For that reason, she said, it is important for people to be aware what product they had for their first shot.

P.E.I. is working on a web form where people will be able to get their vaccination records, said Dowling, and she hopes that will be available soon.

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