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Q&A for People who Received a First Dose of AstraZeneca Vaccine

The Vaccine is highly effective at preventing serious illness and complications from COVID-19. In order to receive the COVID-19 Vaccine you will require an appointment.

We know that people who have received the AstraZeneca vaccine have many questions. We answer these based on what we know today. As we find out more, we will continue to update you.

If you received the AstraZeneca vaccine more than 28 days ago, that is great as you are well on your way to protection. Your next dose will likely be Pfizer or Moderna.  We now have a limited supply of the Moderna vaccine at our clinics.

If you received the AstraZeneca vaccine less than 28 days ago, then you need to know what to watch for. After a vaccination, it is normal to feel tired, achy, feverish, or have soreness at injection site. Those are NOT signs of VITT. VITT is rare and has better treatment & outcome when identified early. Symptoms of VITT may occur 4-28 days following AstraZeneca and are listed in the infographic below:

Following the direction of the province (May 11), Ontario is immediately pausing administration of the first dose of the AZ vaccine. Here is what we know now and are working to confirm for you.

Why was this change made now?

There are several reasons for this change:

Should I have waited for a different vaccine?

If you have already been vaccinated, you did the right thing by protecting yourself and others around you. Having a first dose of any vaccine provides significant protection against serious illness and death should you become infected with COVID-19.

If you received the AZ vaccine within the past 28 days, the chances of serious side effects remain very small – but you should know the signs (see above), as these rare blood clots can be treated if addressed early.  Please reach out to our office or seek emergency care if you have the warning symptoms.

What about the second doses?

What this pause means for second doses is not clear at this moment. There is a more predictable supply of other vaccines coming and Canada should have information on mixing and matching different vaccine brands in the next 1 or 2 weeks based on a large study being conducted in the United Kingdom (https://www.cbc.ca/news/politics/vaccines-mix-and-match-1.6020986).

Where can I get updates?

We will update you as soon as we have information. You can also check the provincial and local public health unit websites as well. Ontario's central vaccine management system has a record of when and where you were vaccinated and with which vaccine -- so no one will be left behind with a second dose.

Please remember – our office is available to answer any vaccination questions. We are here to help keep you safe and get through this pandemic together.

We hope you find this Question and Answer document helpful.

Attachment (click to download):
 Adobe Acrobat Document Vaccine Q&A-May 7 2021-v2.pdf