As members of the public continue to receive both the first and second doses of COVID-19 vaccines, some people remain concerned about mixing different vaccines between the two shots. However, the Simcoe Muskoka District Health Unit says getting two different doses is perfectly fine.
As of July 20, the Health Unit reported that there were four people currently in hospital due to COVID, including one in ICU.
That is down from ten hospitalized cases from the previous report of two weeks earlier. Ages of patients range from under ten to in their 70s.
There were seven new cases reported in Simcoe County over the weekend. As of the week of July 11, all municipalities in the region reported less than five cases per 100,000 population – a number that is considered “very low.” There are currently no outbreaks as of July 20. Some people are concerned that receiving a second dose that is different from the brand of the first dose they received could be a problem.
Some suggest that having a mixed dose could go against protocols established for travelling.
Dr. Charles Gardner, SMDHU’s Medical Officer of Health, said getting a mixed dose will still provide protection. “We completely abide by informed consent as to the vaccine that people would be offered, for them to decide freely decide whether to accept it or not,” said Dr. Gardner said in a press briefing on July 21. “We have had individuals choose not to accept a second dose offered because it wasn’t the vaccine they preferred, it wasn’t the vaccine that perhaps matched the first one they received. That is absolutely people’s right, but we do encourage people to accept the first available dose regardless of the type that it is because they are interchangeable. The National Advisory Committee in Immunization supports this, where you cannot readily match a vaccine to a previous type because of circumstances. This is a way of getting protection now and not continuing to be at risk of contracting the Delta variant.”
There have been just over 700,000 doses of the vaccine administered within the Health District.
As of July 19, 68 percent of the population in the Health District have received the first dose with 49 percent receiving the second dose.
Brian Lockhart, Local Journalism Initiative Reporter, New Tecumseth Times