Ontario Shortens AstraZeneca Dose Interval to Eight Weeks – –

Ontario Shortens AstraZeneca Dose Interval to Eight Weeks – –

TORONTO – Ontarians who received their first dose of the Oxford-AstraZeneca vaccine will be able to receive their second dose after eight weeks with informed consent.

The province made the announcement on Saturday afternoon. In a press release, the health ministry said the change was made in consultation with the chief medical officer of health and other health experts, including the Ontario Science Advisory Table.

“This decision is based on emerging clinical evidence regarding the administration of two different vaccine doses, supported by the National Advisory Committee on Immunization (NACI),” the ministry said.

“Evidence from several studies indicates that the COVID-19 vaccine mixture (receiving an mRNA vaccine after an AstraZeneca vaccine) at dosing intervals between eight and 12 weeks is safe and demonstrates a beneficial immune response. “

Starting Monday at 8 a.m., those who have received their first dose of the AstraZeneca vaccine can make an appointment for the second dose and can choose between the same vaccine or an mRNA vaccine – Pfizer or Moderna.

The province said residents who want an mRNA vaccine for a second dose can make an appointment through the provincial reservation system, while those who want to receive the AstraZeneca vaccine for their second dose should contact the location where they have it. received their first vaccine.

The change comes following calls from public health experts and local politicians to shorten the 12-week dosing interval, allowing more people to be fully vaccinated, especially given the emergence of the variant. B.1.617.2, also known as the Delta variant.

Studies in other jurisdictions show that having two doses offers better protection against the more infectious variant first discovered in India.

Dr Isaac Bogoch, infectious disease expert and member of the provincial vaccine working group, said the provincial government made a wise move by speeding up second doses for people who received the first dose of AstraZeneca.

“It really allows people to get that second dose in a reasonable amount of time to protect themselves from this Delta variant,” he said in an interview with CP24.

“It’s the right decision. “

Asked about informed consent, Bogoch believes the province just wants people to talk to a health care provider before deciding to receive their second vaccine at eight weeks.

“I don’t think people will really need any form of documentation,” he said.

“I don’t want to put words in the mouth of the province, but I think a lot of people are informed that they know exactly what they are doing. We have a very knowledgeable population in health matters, especially throughout the COVID-19 pandemic. because people have been following the news very closely. “

Bogoch said the changes announced on Saturday would allow more people in the province to be fully immunized, which will help mitigate the impact of the variant.

“We will just continue to watch COVID-19 rates plummet in the province. We can safely reopen, and slowly return to what we remember as we were in pre-COVID-19 times. We are not there yet, but we are well on this path. “

Brampton Mayor Patrick Brown, one of the local officials who advocated a shorter dose interval, said in a statement that this was great news for essential workers.

“Residents will now have the choice of being fully immunized earlier in order to have better protection against the variants,” said Brown. “We need to crush COVID-19. “

Toronto Mayor John Tory also thanked the Ford government for listening to advice from health experts and “for making this change that will allow more people to get fully immunized sooner.”

“This is good news for the tens of thousands of Toronto residents who did the right thing and received their first doses of AstraZeneca as soon as they were eligible earlier this year,” Tory said.

The science table co-chair said on Thursday that while the Delta variant would soon become dominant in the province, its spread can be controlled and avoid a fourth wave as long as second doses are accelerated in red light districts dealing with variant cases.

“This is not an apocalyptic scenario. We believe that if we are able to really pursue a high risk community focused vaccination strategy and do it very quickly and quickly, we have a good chance of controlling the Delta variant and actually a very good chance of passing. have a good summer, ”said Dr Adalsteinn Brown.

Earlier this week, the province expanded second-dose eligibility in hot spot areas of the Delta. People living in these seven regions, which include Toronto, Peel Region and York Region, who received their first dose of mRNA on or before May 9 will be able to reserve their second dose starting Monday, June 14.


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