CALGARY — Second dose bookings are starting to open up across the country for people who’ve had their first shot of a COVID-19 vaccine.
But those whose first shot was AstraZeneca now have a decision to make. Moderna, Pfizer or another shot of AstraZeneca?
“Any one of these vaccines is going to provide you with what we would consider remarkable protection,” said Dr. Dan Gregson, an infectious disease physician and medical microbiologist at the Cumming School of Medicine.
Gregson says—similar to the first dose—take the first one you’re offered because protection today is better than protection tomorrow.
“We are seeing people who’ve had one dose develop COVID and end up in hospital and end up in the ICU,” he said.
Health officials have said the risks of severe outcomes due to COVID-19 are far greater than the risks of blood clots associated with AstraZeneca.
As of May 21, four Canadians had died due to severe blood clots. The risk of getting them after the second dose drops to about 1 in 600,000 according to the National Advisory Committee on Immunization.
If you’re wondering which vaccine combo might be the most effective, no studies show a definite answer.
“It’s likely that these vaccines will be equally efficacious across the board with your second dose.”
Gregson says mixing vaccines have shown to cause a bit more fever and chills in the short term.
In the long term—getting any vaccine for your second dose decreases your risk of symptoms, hospitalization and likely reduces your ability to transmit the virus to your loved ones.
“We’d like you to get your second dose. You’re not bulletproof with one (dose).”
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