Manitobans who got a first dose of the AstraZeneca-Oxford COVID-19 vaccine can receive a second dose of either the Pfizer-BioNTech or Moderna vaccine if they meet provincial eligibility requirements, the province says.
The minimum time that must pass before people who got AstraZeneca get a second dose is 28 days, and for those who aren’t in a higher risk category, eight weeks is recommended.
As of Monday, anyone who received a first dose of any COVID-19 vaccine on or before April 8 can book a second-dose appointment.
Those who got their first shot on or before April 13 will be able to book a second-dose appointment starting Tuesday at 11:45 a.m.
Canadian health officials have been reviewing research on mixing various COVID-19 shots for several weeks.
WATCH | Dr. Reimer on mixing shots:
Manitoba was waiting for the results of a U.K. study, which were due to be released this month, before making a decision on mixing vaccines, but the results of that study are now expected a month later, said Dr. Joss Reimer, the medical lead for Manitoba’s vaccine implementation task force.
“The good news is that a Spanish study has been released that showed that people who received a second dose of an mRNA vaccine [such as Moderna or Pfizer-BioNTech] after AstraZeneca had a good immune response,” she said.
This lines up with what scientists see with other vaccines.
“We’ve seen that changing products in between doses for almost every other vaccine still results in good effectiveness, and ultimately that’s what we’re after: the effectiveness of the vaccine in preventing the spread and the severity of a COVID infection,” Reimer said.
The Spanish study mixed Pfizer with AstraZeneca, but Reimer says Pfizer and Moderna are essentially the same vaccine with different brands.
“We expect that whether you got Moderna or Pfizer after AstraZeneca, you would get an equivalent immune response,” she said.
“We want people to get those second doses as soon as they hit that eight-week mark and don’t want them to worry about vaccine shopping.”
All Indigenous people in Manitoba and those with specific health conditions are also eligible to book a second dose, as long as they meet the minimum time interval between doses.
All Manitobans 12 and up have been eligible for a first dose appointment since May 14.
As of Monday, a total of 852,094 vaccinations have been administered in the province. Just over 61 per cent of people 12 and up have received at least one dose.
You can book appointments on the province’s website or by calling 1-844-626-8222.
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