NACI says you can mix and match COVID-19 vaccines, still recommends getting same vaccines for both doses

OTTAWA – Canada’s vaccine panel has updated its recommendation on mixing different kinds of COVID-19 vaccines.


OTTAWA – Canada’s vaccine panel has updated its recommendation on mixing different kinds of COVID-19 vaccines.

The National Advisory Committee on Immunization (NACI) said Tuesday that people who have been given the viral-vector AstraZeneca shot can be given a Pfizer or Moderna mRNA shot as their second shots.

However, NACI says that if you had an mRNA shot as your first dose, you should be given an mRNA as your second shot.

Pfizer and Moderna can be interchanged if the same vaccine is not available as a second shot.

The committee says while you can mix and match if needed, you should still try to get the same vaccine for your second shot that you did for your first.

A study in the United Kingdom reported last month that mixing AstraZeneca and Pfizer-BioNTech as first and second doses led to more reports of short-lived side-effects like fevers and fatigue but was otherwise safe.

The Spanish study concluded a second dose of Pfizer after a first dose of AstraZeneca produced more than twice the antibodies as a second dose of AstraZeneca.

All provinces paused the use of AstraZeneca for first doses in May as reports of vaccine-induced blood clots rose, but are anxiously waiting for the NACI advice on what to do with second doses.

Manitoba didn’t wait for the advice, with health officials in that province announcing Monday they would start offering Pfizer-BioNTech or Moderna as a second dose to AstraZeneca recipients.


There are 41 confirmed or suspected cases of vaccine-induced blood clots following an AstraZeneca vaccination in Canada, including five deaths.

Almost 2.2 million Canadians received the vaccine for their first dose, out of 21.8 million people now vaccinated with at least one dose.

The vaccine board also says that as people across the country get their second shots as rollout expands, provinces should prioritize high-risk groups, like the elderly and people with underlying conditions.

But, while NACI says second shots can be given as soon as possible, it still encourages provinces to extend the dose intervals where possible to make sure supply doesn’t dry up too quickly.

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