COVID-19: British Columbians who got AstraZeneca dose can choose another vaccine for their second shot

Provincial health officer Dr. Bonnie Henry reports 184 new cases of COVID-19 — the lowest daily case count since Oct. 20 last year

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British Columbians who received a first dose of the AstraZeneca vaccine that is linked to fatal blood clots can get another vaccine for their second shot, the provincial health officer said Tuesday.

The National Advisory Committee on Immunization, or NACI, has “confirmed the safety and effectiveness of interchanging vaccines and reaffirmed the recommendation to prioritize second doses for those at highest risk of severe illness and death,” Dr. Bonnie Henry said.

“NACI advises people who received a first dose of the AstraZeneca vaccine may safely receive either the same vaccine or an mRNA vaccine (Pfizer or Moderna) for their second dose.”

In April, B.C. began offering the AstraZeneca vaccine — which has been the backbone of the U.K. vaccine rollout — through pharmacies to people not then eligible for the age-based roll out of Pfizer and Moderna vaccines. It was also used for COVID-19 hot spots and high-risk workplaces until it was suspended over rare blood clot side-effects.

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In total, over 314,000 doses of the vaccine were administered in B.C.

Henry said 3,112,112 people in B.C. had now received at least one shot and 179,954 had been given the second dose need to ensure maximum protection. That means 70.4 per cent of adults in B.C. and 67 per cent of those aged 12 and over had been given one dose.

On Monday, there were 53,218 doses administered, including 11,268 second doses.

Henry reported 184 new cases of COVID-19 and no new deaths.

This is the lowest daily case count since Oct. 20 when 167 cases were reported.

Henry said there are now 2,800 active cases of the disease in B.C. — a one day drop of 153 cases. There are 254 people being treated in hospital with COVID-19, including 80 in intensive care (both these numbers are up slightly).

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