Mixing & Matching Vaccines
There are many questions about what it means if a person receives one dose of a specific COVID-19 vaccine and then gets a different COVID-19 vaccine for their second dose. For example, if your first vaccine was AstraZeneca, what does it mean if you get the Pfizer/BioNTech or Moderna vaccine for your second shot?
Federally and provincially, health authorities have approved this approach because data shows that it is safe and effective. In fact, on Thursday, June 17, Canada’s Chief Public Health Officer, Theresa Tam, said that NACI had updated its guidelines to advise that if a person has had AstraZeneca as their first shot, getting an mRNA vaccine as their second is preferable, as it provides additional protection. You can learn more about what she said here. British Columbia’s Provincial Health Officer, Dr. Bonnie Henry, was also asked about this and she said that British Columbians can still make a personal choice for either a mixed schedule or two doses of AstraZeneca. You can read more about Dr. Bonnie’s response here. You can also learn more about the overall strategy in this news coverage by CTV News.
This guidance is based on, along with a few other factors, early studies showing that a combination of vaccines such as AstraZeneca’s Covishield and BioNTech/Pfizer’s COMIRNATY® may provide additional protection. You can read more about this at these links:
While the early studies are certainly interesting, it’s important to remember that the best first or second dose for you is the one that you can get as soon as possible. The more people who get their second shot, the quicker we can return to some sense of normalcy. We think it’s safe to say that we all want to see that happen. So, please get vaccinated – and stay safe and healthy out there.