Ontario resuming use of AstraZeneca, but only as second dose

James Marshall
May 25, 2021

Mississauga and Brampton residents who received the AstraZeneca COVID-19 vaccine between March 10 and March 19 can now receive a second dose of the same vaccine.

Several provinces have paused the rollout and administration of the first doses of the AstraZeneca vaccine, citing safety and supply concerns.

So far the Pfizer vaccine is the only one that has been approved for use in children.

The province also has delayed giving second vaccine doses in order to get as many people covered by a first shot as possible.

The province's chief medical officer says health risks posed by the vaccine are low. Those who got the first dose between March 10 and March 19 will be eligible as soon as next week for the second shot.

"There's a study coming out of Spain that suggests we get some pretty good benefits when the second dose is Pfizer, but there's some early research coming out of the United Kingdom suggesting you may experience slightly more side effects".

"In the event that an individual receives one dose of the AstraZeneca vaccine and is unable to receive the AstraZeneca vaccine for the second dose, one dose of Janssen vaccine (if available) can be used as the second dose to complete the vaccine series", the statement reads.

The AstraZeneca vaccine has been offered at participating pharmacies in northwestern Ontario.

Currently, data only exist on the expected reactions of a mixed schedule with the AstraZeneca and Pfizer-BioNTech COVID-19 vaccines, according to the committee.

Canada has overtaken the United States in the percentage of people with at least one dose, but Canada has only fully vaccinated about three per cent of the population.

It expects the vaccination rate under the government programme will progress further in June. There had been a disproportionately higher number of positive cases among those travelling on flights from India and Pakistan.

Other reports by Click Lancashire

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