To mix or not to mix vaccines? Kingston’s associate medical officer of health is clear on the answer — when it comes to COVID-19, it’s better to have your second dose sooner than later, even if it means going with a different version than your first dose.
On Tuesday at Napanee’s Strathcona Paper Centre, Dr. Hugh Guan received his second shot — Moderna, after receiving Pfizer for his first.
“So essentially the two mRNA vaccines are interchangeable. The active ingredient, the mRNA codes for essentially the same protein, the spike protein of the COVID-19 virus. It will produce the same response for the vaccines or interchanging the vaccines,” Guan said.
Although there’s some concern among the general public about mixing two different vaccines, Guan says mixing is perfectly safe. This is also backed up by Canada’s National Advisory Committee on Immunization.
“There really shouldn’t be a different reaction. With the second dose, people may find that there’s an increased amount of side effects but that’s really to show that the vaccine is working. It’s really that immune response kicking in with the second dose,” Guan said Tuesday.
Recently, KFL&A Public Health announced a delay in Pfizer to Ontario and a larger shipment in Moderna might cause some who received Pfizer for their first dose to be offered Moderna for their second.
Guan said he mixed his vaccines to lead by example, and to show locals that getting both vaccines is safe.
As for Kingston’s vaccination site at the Memorial Centre, Guan confirmed it will be moving to Portsmouth Olympic Harbour for logistical reasons.
A date for the move has yet to be finalized.