Windsor-Essex residents can book their next dose of AstraZeneca vaccine
WINDSOR, ONT. -- The province is proceeding with the second dose of vaccines, starting with people who got their first shot in a one-week period in March.
If you got an AstraZeneca shot between March 10 and 19, you can book a second dose, during the week of May 24.
It will start in regions where the AZ vaccine was launched by pharmacies in March.
In a statement the province says, “choosing to receive the second dose of AstraZeneca at the 10–week interval is safe and provides strong protection against COVID-19.”
The Ministry of Health says the move is to ensure every possible dose is used up.
Chief medical officer of health Dr. David Williams says there are 55,000 doses of vaccine that are due to expire at the end of May.
This decision comes after the Province paused use of this vaccine on May 11, to research the potential for life-threatening blood clots.
“Data from the UK strongly suggests a much-reduced risk of VITT in second dose of AstraZeneca - one in 600,000,” reads the Ministry news release.
The medical leaders say they understand if Ontarians are hesitant about this specific vaccine and its potential threat for blood clots.
“We hear you. We completely understand,” says Dr. Dirk Huyer, coordinator, Provincial outbreak response.
“We want Ontarians to have the best information available, the best science, the best data to make their decisions.”
“The nice thing is, it solves a problem,” says pharmacist Tim Brady “We had a lot of people in limbo, we didn’t know what we were going to do for their second shot.”
Brady says the research indicates the risk of developing blood clots is “ten times less” than with the first dose.
“Anyone who didn’t have issues on the first (dose) is probably not going to have issues on the second,” adds Brady.
He says there are 35,000 people in Windsor-Essex alone who got a first dose of AstraZeneca.
“The ideal situation for AstraZeneca is 12 weeks,” says Brady “so these people that are going to be getting it, potentially as early as eight weeks, as late as probably 10 weeks, you’ll lose a little bit of efficacy but not enough to be concerned.”
And even if you exclude the medical research, Brady says dozens of patients are already calling wanting a second dose.
“It solves a problem,” he says. “We had a lot of people in limbo. We didn’t know what we were going to do for their second shot.”