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Porcupine Health Unit Opens Up Second Doses Sooner to Many More Individuals

Issued: Wednesday, June 9, 2021

Starting today, any individual aged 16 years and older who received their first dose of Moderna or Pfizer at least 28 days ago can now make an appointment at a Pfizer clinic to receive Pfizer for their second dose. Updated recommendations from the National Advisory Committee on Immunization (NACI) guidelines confirm that interchanging mRNA vaccines is safe and effective. This recommendation is based on current scientific evidence and NACI’s expert opinion.

The Delta variant (B.1.617) present in our region is more transmissible compared to other doses and having two doses of a COVID vaccine offers increased protection against this variant.

Residents who received Moderna for their first dose and wish to receive Moderna for their second dose are encouraged to remain patient as the Ministry of Ontario has suggested additional allocations of Moderna may be received mid-June.

Additionally, individuals who received dose one of AstraZeneca will continue to follow the product monograph and receive dose two at a 12-week interval. They can choose either AstraZeneca or a mRNA vaccine (Moderna or Pfizer), as per NACI guidelines. The only exception to get a second dose before the 12 weeks is for individuals who are undergoing active treatment (i.e. chemotherapy or dialysis), and require a 4-12 week interval, at the discretion of their provider. With the AstraZeneca vaccine, a 12-week interval is recommended for optimal immunity.

Although walk-ins will continue to accepted for those looking for their first dose of a COVID-19 Vaccine, appointments are required for second dose clinics.  Walk ins for second doses will not be accepted for second doses. Individuals who are eligible can book an appointment online at phu.fyi/covid-vaccine or call the health unit at 1-800-461-1818. Please ensure you are booking your appointment in your community.

If you are eligible and have an appointment booked for a later clinic date, please ensure you cancel the later appointment in order to allow others to book.

More vaccine clinics are being planned in the PHU region over the next few weeks. Because the vaccine arrives in waves, there isn’t enough vaccine to immunize everyone at the same time. Stay tuned to the health unit’s website: phu.fyi/covid-vaccine, Facebook page and Twitter feed for information on dates, times and locations for clinics.  Thank you for your patience.

Remember that every outing is a low-risk exposure, and you need to follow public health measures correctly each and every time you leave your house. To reduce the risk of exposure, we ask that you continue to follow public health measures:

  • stay home and isolate if you have any symptoms
  • practice 2 metres physical distancing
  • wash your hands often with soap and water or alcohol-based hand sanitizer
  • sneeze and cough into your sleeve
  • avoid touching your eyes, nose or mouth
  • wear a mask in indoor public spaces
  • wear a mask indoors and outdoors when physical distancing of 2 metres/6 feet cannot be maintained.