(Black Press file photo).

(Black Press file photo).

AstraZeneca second dose ‘good choice’ despite federal guidance: B.C.’s top doctor


VICTORIA — British Columbia’s top doctor says there is no wrong choice for a second COVID-19 vaccine dose despite recommendations from a federal panel that those who first got Oxford-AstraZeneca should choose Pfizer-BioNTech or Moderna for a second shot.

New guidance from the National Advisory Committee on Immunization says Pfizer or Moderna is preferred as the second dose based on growing evidence that the combination produces a stronger immune response.

Previously, the committee said AstraZeneca recipients could choose to get a second dose of the same vaccine or a different shot.

Dr. Bonnie Henry says the recommendation is based on the results of a small study, but other studies show all vaccines provide excellent protection from COVID-19 and two doses of any of the vaccines are safe and effective.

Henry says anybody who received two doses of AstraZeneca can be assured they received a safe vaccine.

B.C. reported 120 new COVID-19 cases and one death today, bringing the provincial death total to 1,739 people.

This report by The Canadian Press was first published June 17, 2021.