r. Theresa Tham stated on Tuesday that NACI had updated its recommendations on the interchangeability of COVID-19 vaccines.
First and second doses of different vaccines will now be allowed, and regional announcements are expected to follow.
The new update means that the first and second doses of the COVID-19 vaccine you receive will not necessarily have to be the same. Those who received a first dose of the AstraZeneca (Oxford/COVISHIELD) vaccine will be able to receive a second dose of Pfizer-BioNTech or Moderna safely.
For individuals who received an mRNA (Pfizer or Moderna) vaccine for their first dose, NACI recommends they should still be offered an mRNA vaccine for their second, although it could safely be either Pfizer or Moderna.
Dr. Tham tweeted a summary of the update on Tuesday after NACI made the announcement:
During her briefing, Dr. Tham also stated, “NACI has worked to quickly adapt this guidance on the use of COVID-19 vaccines in Canada to ensure optimal protection”.
“At this time, there is no reason to believe that mRNA vaccine series completion with a different authorized mNRA vaccine product would result in any additional safety issues or deficiency in protection.” a statement by NACI said of the revised guidelines.
The United Kingdom and Spain have both previously allowed mixing of the COVID-19 vaccine types, after early results from a major UK trial indicated that combining vaccines could give a longer-lasting and more effective immunity against new variations of the virus.
The latest Alberta data shows that over 58% of Albertans have received at least their first vaccine dose at either walk-in centres, immunization clinics, or participating pharmacies, with many expected to book their second dose appointment within the next 4 months.
Anyone born before the year 2009 (over 12 years of age) is now eligible to receive the COVID-19 vaccine and are urged to book their vaccine appointments when they can.
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