Sask. looking at potential third dose for AstraZeneca recipients looking to travel internationally

Some countries have yet to recognize the mixing of vaccines or the double-dosing of AstraZeneca as full vaccination. 

Some countries have yet to recognize the mixing of vaccines or the double-dosing of AstraZeneca

Saskatchewan Health Minister Paul Merriman speaks with the media on July 27, 2021 in Saskatoon. (CBC News)

Saskatchewan Health Minister Paul Merriman says that the province is considering offering third doses of the AstraZeneca-Oxford COVID-19 vaccine to those interested in travelling internationally. 

At a news conference in Saskatoon on Tuesday, Merriman said the province is exploring the option, as some countries have yet to recognize the mixing of vaccines or the double-dosing of AstraZeneca as full vaccination. 

It would not be necessary for travel within Canada.

"Those are other countries' parameters and we have no input on that," Merriman said. 

Saskatchewan's chief medical health officer, Dr. Saqib Sahab, is looking at the issue with the goal of offering a recommendation on whether a third AstraZeneca dose is necessary, Merriman said. 

Merriman stressed that the province looking at the subject does not reflect on the efficacy of any of the vaccines. 

"Whether you got AstraZeneca, Moderna or Pfizer, or any combination of those three, then your level of protection is still the same," Merriman said. 

The health minister added that the province is still waiting for guidance from national health bodies on whether a third dose of vaccine will be recommended to travel internationally.

AstraZeneca is no longer offered as an option for those looking to get a first dose in the province. 

The vaccine is only offered to those who have already received a first dose of AstraZeneca and only in specific locations. 

Saskatchewan saw widespread resistance to receiving AstraZeneca after it was linked to extremely rare incidents of blood clots in some recipients. 

The federal government has since cleared AztraZeneca recipients to receive Pfizer or Moderna vaccines as their second shot.


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