Ontario shortens wait time to get a second shot for some

If your first dose of the vaccine against COVID-19 was from AstraZeneca, you don’t have to wait as long to get the second dose now.

The Ontario government is shortening the interval between doses for those people to eight weeks, down from 12, with informed consent. Starting Monday, June 14, at 8 a.m., they can book an appointment for the second dose through a pharmacy or primary care provider for an AstraZeneca shot.

Those who got their first dose of AstraZeneca also have the option of getting an mRNA vaccine the second time around. For Pfizer or Moderna, those appointments can be made through the provincial booking system or the public health unit. Booking through public health units may depend on the local supply of the vaccine.

The provincial booking system can be accessed online or by calling the Provincial Vaccine Booking Line at 1-833-943-3900.

The latest decision is based on “emerging clinical evidence about the administration of two doses of different vaccines,” said a statement from the Ontario government. However, “there is evidence that a longer interval between two doses of vaccine provides higher protection.”

Ontario expects to receive approximately 4.7-million doses of the Pfizer vaccine in June and another 3.5-million in July. The province anticipates over 2-million doses of the Moderna shot before the end of June.

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