Ontarians who have received the first dose of AstraZeneca can be offered either the Pfizer or Moderna vaccine for their second dose, the provincial government says.
This decision comes after advice from the National Advisory Committee on Immunization.
The Ontario government says starting tomorrow, those who received their first AstraZeneca dose 12 weeks ago and would like their second dose of that vaccine can contact the pharmacy or primary care provider where they received their first dose to book an appointment.
These second dose options will be provided at the recommended 12-week interval.
Those opting to receive an mRNA vaccine for their second dose 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.
In a press release issued today, the province also says individuals who received their first dose of the AstraZeneca vaccine and who choose to receive an mRNA vaccine for their second dose can register for a “second dose only” at a 12-week interval through the provincial booking system. Eligible individuals will also be able to schedule their second dose appointment directly through public health units that use their own booking system.
The AstraZeneca vaccine is potentially linked to a rare but serious blood clotting syndrome.
In Canada, 41 confirmed or suspected cases of vaccine-induced thrombotic thrombocytopenia have been diagnosed and five people have died. In Ontario, there has been one confirmed death linked to the vaccine.
While health experts say the risks of the clots is extremely low and is outweighed by the risks of COVID-19, NACI said people should only get AstraZeneca if they are over the age of 30, and live in an area where they are more likely to be exposed to the virus that causes COVID-19.