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Ontario says those who got a first shot of the Oxford-AstraZeneca COVID-19 vaccine can still opt to get it as their second dose.

The province’s position comes after the National Advisory Committee on Immunization said yesterday that people who got AstraZeneca as a first shot should get the Pfizer-BioNTech or Moderna mRNA vaccines as a second.

The guidance was updated because of evidence of a stronger immune response with that mix of doses and lower risk of rare but serious blood clots.

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Ontario says AstraZeneca recipients can decide whether to get the same vaccine or a different mNRA shot as a second dose.

The province it offering AstraZeneca at select pharmacies and primary care settings as a second shot.

AstraZeneca recipients have to wait at least eight weeks after their first dose before getting a second shot of Pfizer, Moderna or AstraZeneca.

The province is encouraging people to book their second dose as soon as they become eligible to ensure protection against the more infectious Delta variant.

The National Advisory Committee on Immunization now says people who got the Oxford-AstraZeneca vaccine as their first dose should get either Pfizer or Moderna for their second. Chief public health officer Dr. Theresa Tam says the new guidance is based on more evidence that mixing vaccines is not only safe, it is producing an even stronger immune response. The Canadian Press

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