COVID-19 Astra-Zeneca Vaccine Update (May 11, 2021)

Ontario’s Chief Medical Officer of Health just announced a “pause” in using AstraZeneca COVID19 for FIRST doses.

What does this mean?
* No more first doses of AZ will be given in the province at this time
* This is influenced by the “safety signal” as we have observed an increased risk for blood clot associated with this vaccine (1.7 per 100,000)
* In March and April when we were using this vaccine, Ontario cases were on FIRE. The benefits far outweighed the risks. AZ was a key tool in helping contain that fire
* Now that there is a greater supply of the mRNA vaccines it makes sense to switch our focus over to those vaccines

Are you concerned about mixing your second dose?
At this time we are watching the science closely. Studies evolve very quickly. There is some data about completing series with other manufacturers (e.g., Hepatitis A) as well as using an entirely different type of vaccine after an earlier type (e.g., Shingles (Zostavax to Shingrix) and HPV (Gardasil vs Gardasil 9)).

What does this mean for my second dose appointment?
If you received your AZ from us – your second dose is still booked. At this time, the vaccine we will administer is up in the air, but it will be the best choice at the time. Please note that my entire family has received the AZ vaccination, so I am working to stay on top of all available data and doing the best possible for everyone.

Please feel free to reach out if you have any questions or concerns.