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posted by: LIT First Aid on: June 01, 2021

Image by: Hakan Nural

 

Canada’s COVID-19 vaccination campaign is well underway, with the majority of the country now having received their first dose. However, with questions raised about the efficacy and potential side effects of certain vaccines, namely AstraZeneca, it’s led some to wonder whether it’s possible to mix vaccines. By mixing vaccines, we’re referring to the practice of having one dose of one vaccine, such as AstraZeneca, and a second dose of another vaccine, such as Pfizer or Moderna. 

 

After weeks of speculation, Canada’s National Advisory Committee on Immunization (NACI) is finally ready to make a recommendation. According to NACI, a first dose of the AstraZeneca vaccine can safely be combined with a second dose of Pfzier or Moderna. In addition, NACI claims that Pfizer and Moderna, which both use mRNA technology, can also be used interchangeably for second doses. 

 

While NACI’s recommendations are just that - recommendations, it’s extremely likely that Canada’s provinces and territories will follow these recommendations and start acting on them soon (in fact, some provinces had already started allowing those who received AstraZeneca as their first dose to have Pfizer or Moderna as their second dose, if they wished). 

 

The benefits of these new guidelines regarding the mixing and matching of vaccines are two-fold. First, they will likely make those who received AstraZeneca the first time around less hesitant to receive dose #2, knowing they won’t be forced to receive AstraZeneca again. And second, if mixing and matching vaccines is just as effective as receiving two doses of the same vaccine, it means that anyone can have any vaccine as their second dose. Therefore, Canada’s vaccination campaign should be able to speed up in the months to come because no matter what shipments arrive, whether they be Moderna or Pfizer, nearly all Canadians will be eligible to receive them regardless of their first vaccine. 

 

As we all know, getting vaccinated is critical to ending the pandemic, which makes this latest announcement confirming that mixing and matching vaccines is both safe and effective feel like a major win. In addition to getting vaccinated, you can also stay safe by learning basic first aid. Sign up for the L.I.T. First Aid and Lifeguard Training courses to learn important first aid skills and CPR.

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