National advisory committee suggests AstraZeneca recipients can mix vaccines

Pharmacy technicians drawing up doses of COVID vaccines. (File photo by Colin Gowdy, BlackburnNews)

If you’ve had your first dose of the AstraZeneca vaccine, you may not have to wait so long to get a second dose.

The National Advisory Committee on Immunization (NACI) announced an update of its COVID-19 vaccine guidelines to say that anyone who has received a first shot of AstraZeneca may get the Pfizer-BioNTech or Moderna vaccine as their second shot. The Public Health Agency of Canada (PHAC) published the update Tuesday morning.

The Pfizer and Moderna vaccines are classified as mRNA vaccines.

The report said that the method has already been used in some European countries such as Denmark, Finland, France, Germany, Norway, Spain, and Sweden. That was done in response to concerns over rare cases of blood clots caused by the AstraZeneca vaccine.

“Persons who received the first dose of an mRNA vaccine (Pfizer-BioNTech or Moderna) should be offered the same mRNA vaccine for their second dose,” read the guidelines. “If the same mRNA vaccine is not readily available or unknown, another mRNA vaccine can be considered interchangeable and should be offered to complete the vaccine series.”

However, the committee does not recommend that people who already got a shot of Pfizer or Moderna get AstraZeneca as their second.

NACI also stated that mixing certain vaccines to treat diseases is not a new idea.

“Similar vaccines from different manufacturers are used when vaccine supply or public health programs change. Different vaccine products have been used to complete a vaccine series for influenza, hepatitis A, and others,” the report read.

The federal rollout of enough vaccines to allow for interchanging is set to take place this summer.

The guidelines can be found on the Government of Canada’s official website .