'More choices, more options': WECHU on mixing vaccines

The World Health Organization has called for studies on so-called mixing and matching between vaccines. (AFP)

Canada's National Advisory Committee on Immunization (NACI) has changed its guidelines to allow for mixing and matching of COVID-19 vaccines.

“That could definitely give people more choices and more options,” says Dr. Wajid Ahmed, medical officer of health, Windsor-Essex County Health Unit.

Federal health officials announced the updated guidance during a press briefing on Tuesday, with NACI recommending that a first dose of the AstraZeneca-Oxford vaccine can safely be combined with a second dose of the Pfizer-BioNTech or Moderna shots "unless contraindicated."

NACI also advises that the Pfizer and Moderna vaccines can be mixed for first and second doses as the mRNA technology is similar.

“While it’s preferred when you are getting the first dose of the vaccine you get the same dose as a second vaccine. There are some exceptional circumstances,” adds Ahmed. “Which could be the non-availability of the vaccine or allergy to any specific component of the vaccine or the sheer shortage of one vaccine versus the other.”

Details on when vaccine mixing will be implemented across Windsor-Essex has not been released at this time.

More to come...