Ontario approves use of alternate second vaccine for those who received a first dose of AstraZeneca

Those eligible can begin booking appointments Friday June 4

Ontarians who received a first dose of AstraZeneca vaccine will have a choice of vaccines for a second dose.

Queen’s Park has approved mixing of vaccines based on updated guidance from the National Advisory Committee on Immunization (NACI).

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“Nothing is more important than the health of Ontarians, and for the best protection against COVID-19 it is vital that everyone who received the AstraZeneca vaccine for their first dose receives a second dose of a COVID-19 vaccine,” said Dr. David Williams, Chief Medical Officer of Health. “We are providing individuals who have received only their first dose of the AstraZeneca vaccine with two recommended options based on the available data and evidence and will continue to work with Health Canada to monitor the quality and efficacy of all COVID-19 vaccines being used in Ontario.”

Effective June 4, Ontarians who have received their first dose of the AstraZeneca COVID-19 vaccine can choose to either receive a second dose of the AstraZeneca vaccine, or an mRNA (Pfizer or Moderna) vaccine for their second dose. Williams says the mixing of vaccines is safe and provides strong protection against COVID-19, and will count as a completed series.

These second dose options will be provided at the recommended 12-week interval.

Those eligible can contact the pharmacy or primary care provider where they received their first dose to book an appointment. Individuals who received their first dose of the AstraZeneca vaccine and are opting to receive an mRNA vaccine have the option to schedule their second dose appointment at a participating pharmacy where the Pfizer or Moderna vaccines are administered. Primary care settings and pharmacies may also be reaching out to eligible Ontarians.

NACI’s guidance also advises the Pfizer and Moderna vaccines can be safely interchanged for first and second doses if the original mRNA vaccine is not readily available.