PEI

P.E.I. to give AstraZeneca recipients choice for 2nd vaccine dose

If you are one of the 5,200 Prince Edward Islanders who received the AstraZeneca COVID-19 vaccine for your first dose, the province will be giving you a choice for your second shot.

Early research shows mixing doses safe and effective, says Dr. Heather Morrison

Second doses of either the AstraZeneca COVID-19 vaccine or one of the mRNA types will be available for the 5,200 Islanders who received AstraZeneca the first time around, Dr. Heather Morrison said Tuesday. (Evan Mitsui/CBC)

If you are one of the 5,200 Prince Edward Islanders who received the AstraZeneca COVID-19 vaccine for your first dose, the province will be giving you a choice for your second shot.

Those people may choose to receive a second dose of AstraZeneca or opt for one of the mRNA vaccines, Pfizer and Moderna.

P.E.I. Chief Public Health Officer Dr. Heather Morrison made the announcement at her regular public briefing Tuesday morning.

She said that people who got AstraZeneca as their first shot can receive a second vaccine dose between eight and 12 weeks after the first one.

"People who received AstraZeneca in a pharmacy will be contacted regarding their second dose appointment," said Morrison.

Canada's National Advisory Committee on Immunization is expected to issue guidance at a 1 p.m. AT news conference on mixing doses in this manner. Recent research out of Spain and the U.K. has suggested mixing doses does not lead to serious side-effects and generates an effective immune response.

Morrison said 56 per cent of eligible Islanders have received their first vaccine shot by this time.

"It's really everyone's turn to get immunized, so please do your part and book your appointment," she said.

"It's important that everyone receive two doses to ensure that they have sustained protection for COVID-19."

Vaccine records coming

On another note, the province will soon be providing vaccination records on request, said Morrison.

There will be several options, she said.

Starting June 3, Islanders will be able to call 1-844-975-3303 to request a paper or electronic copy of their vaccination record. In a few weeks' time, an online form will be ready to download or print out through a secure portal as well.

Prince Edward Islanders will also be able to request a record at the vaccination clinic when they are receiving their second shot.

There were no new cases of COVID-19 to report at Tuesday's briefing, and Morrison said the number of active cases has now fallen to four, from 10 on Monday. That's the lowest number since mid-March.

The province is averaging about six new cases per week, 70 per cent of which are travel-related, Morrison noted.

P.E.I. has had 204 cases of COVID-19 since March 2020. There have been two hospitalizations and no deaths.

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