Ontario has updated guidance on mixing and matching COVID-19 vaccine doses to allow those who got a first shot of AstraZeneca to get another brand if desired.
The provincial government, along with Ontario’s chief medical officer of health, gave the green light on Thursday in alignment with updated guidance from NACI (National Advisory Committee on Immunization).
The change is effective June 4.
Ontario residents who received one shot of AstraZeneca can choose to take a second dose of AstraZeneca or an mRNA vaccine dose such as Pfizer or Moderna.
Starting June 4, those who received their first AstraZeneca shot 12 weeks ago and who would like a second of the same dose can contact the pharmacy or primary care provider where they got that first dose to book their second appointment, the government said.
Starting June 7, those who have had their first AstraZeneca dose and who want an mRNA vaccine for their second can register for a “second dose only” at a 12-week interval through the provincial or local booking system, depending on the person’s health unit.
“Combining similar vaccines from different manufacturers in a series is not a new concept,” the government said in a news release.
“Different vaccine products have been safely and effectively used to complete vaccine series for influenza, hepatitis A, and others. Individuals are encouraged to speak with a health care professional for help understanding the options available to them so that they can make an informed decision on their vaccination.”
NACI’s guidance adds that mixing and matching mRNA vaccines, such as one dose of Pfizer and one dose of Moderna, is also safe if the original vaccine received is not available.
So far, more than 9.4 million vaccine doses have been administered in Ontario with more than 834,900 Ontario residents fully vaccinated with two shots.