The Nationwide Advisory Committee on Immunization (NACI) is recommending the provinces cease administering the AstraZeneca vaccine usually — whilst booster photographs for individuals who’ve already acquired first doses of the product.
NACI mentioned Thursday that AstraZeneca recipients ought to as an alternative obtain a second dose of an mRNA vaccine, like those provided by Pfizer and Moderna.
“An mRNA vaccine is now most well-liked because the second dose for people who acquired a primary dose of the AstraZeneca/COVISHIELD vaccine, primarily based on rising proof of a probably higher immune response from this combined vaccine schedule,” NACI mentioned in a press release launched as we speak. The “combined vaccine schedule” refers to the observe of utilizing totally different merchandise for the primary and second doses.
The steering to divert AstraZeneca doses from the provision chain comes weeks after NACI, an unbiased physique composed of volunteer specialists, mentioned the AstraZeneca shot is just not the “most well-liked” product for first doses given its related threat of vaccine-induced immune thrombotic thrombocytopenia (VITT) — a situation that causes blood clots mixed with low platelets.
NACI mentioned there may be additionally a threat of growing VITT after receiving a second dose of AstraZeneca.
Since early Might, all provinces have halted the usage of AstraZeneca for first doses. Many have continued utilizing it for booster photographs.
NACI mentioned individuals who have already got had two doses of AstraZeneca “can relaxation assured that the vaccine supplies good safety towards an infection and superb safety towards extreme illness and hospitalization.”
Nevertheless, the vaccine committee mentioned proof rising from research in Germany suggests mixing one dose of AstraZeneca with a second dose of a Pfizer vaccine can really produce “a probably higher immune response, together with towards variants of concern” than two doses of AstraZeneca alone.
“Proof continues to recommend a primary dose of the AstraZeneca vaccine adopted by a second dose of the Pfizer-BioNTech mRNA vaccine has a great security profile,” NACI mentioned.
NACI can also be recommending that mRNA recipients obtain a second shot of no matter product they acquired first.
The second shot ought to match the primary until “the identical product is just not available, or the product used for the primary dose is unknown.” NACI mentioned. The 2 mRNA merchandise will be thought of “interchangeable,” the physique mentioned.