Canada: Pfizer, Moderna preferred 2nd dose after AstraZeneca

Pfizer, Moderna vaccines now preferred second dose for AstraZeneca recipients: NACI

National Advisory Committee on Immunization (NACI) is now recommending that individuals who received a single dose of the AstraZeneca COVID-19 vaccine be given an mRNA vaccine, Pfizer-BioNTech or Moderna vaccine, for their second dose.

"It therefore seems that AstraZeneca has intentionally chosen not to use the means at its disposal to manufacture and deliver the disputed vaccines", the ruling said. Why is it lumping the second vaccine into one number and not disaggregate it as it's doing for the first dose?

While Masri called NACI's recommendation an excellent move, he advises people to take "the first second dose that is offered to them".

But she is still trying to reassure people who got one or two doses of AstraZeneca's vaccine that they are nevertheless well protected.

Despite this guidance, the committee is also signalling that Canadians who have been fully vaccinated with AstraZeneca should "rest assured that the vaccine provides good protection against infection and very good protection against severe disease and hospitalization".

Dr. Njoo said the advisory panel's advice is based on emerging evidence that shows a potentially better immune response from a mixed vaccine schedule, and concerns about blood clotting associated with the AstraZeneca vaccine.

Of those, 823,371 are second doses.

"If you had AstraZeneca for your first dose, you can safely take either AstraZeneca, Moderna or Pfizer for your second dose for strong protection", Alexandra Hilkene, a spokeswoman for Health Minister Christine Elliott said in a statement.

Ontario has administered more than 12.1 million doses of COVID-19 vaccines so far and is further expanding second-dose eligibility next week.

There are no further shipments of AstraZeneca scheduled.

The donation won't cost Canada anything, and will be on top of the 44 million doses Canada has purchased directly from Moderna.

Canada has been heavily criticized for buying three times as many doses of COVID-19 vaccine than it needs and not sharing any doses from its own direct purchase agreements with vaccine makers.

A Belgian court ruled Friday that coronavirus vaccine-maker AstraZeneca had committed a "serious breach" of its contract with the European Union amid a major legal battle over delivery obligations that has tarnished the company's image.

Dr. Ahmed is also ruling out the need for any additional mRNA shots for people twice vaccinated with the viral vector vaccine, AstraZeneca.

"Taking vaccines at a time when we are nearing complete vaccination when many developing countries are so far behind makes Canada a vaccine hoarder and leaves Canadians vulnerable to risky variants", said NDP health critic Don Davies.