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Media Release: Individuals eligible for second dose of mRNA vaccine encouraged to take advantage of earliest opportunity to get fully vaccinated

Hastings and Prince Edward Counties/June 11, 2021 – HPEPH expects to receive a steady supply of mRNA vaccine over the coming weeks. These vaccines will help ensure that individuals who are eligible for a first or second dose can book an appointment as soon as possible.

As HPEPH will be receiving both Pfizer and Moderna mRNA vaccines, either of these vaccines may be offered at community COVID-19 vaccine clinics. mRNA vaccines teach our body to make a protein from the virus that causes our body to initiate an immune response and create antibodies. These antibodies help prepare our system to fight the real virus if we are ever exposed. As both brands of mRNA vaccine work in the same way, they have been approved as being interchangeable. As indicated in Ontario’s COVID-19 vaccine information sheet, “individuals who received a first dose of the Moderna or Pfizer mRNA vaccines may receive either Moderna or Pfizer for their second dose. Both the Moderna and Pfizer vaccines are very similar and NACI advises mRNA vaccines are safe to be used together in a vaccine schedule.”

“While HPEPH will strive to offer the same brand of mRNA for the second dose as was received for the first, this may not always be possible,” says Dr. Piotr Oglaza, Medical Officer of Health and CEO at HPEPH. “Please take advantage of the earliest possible opportunity to get a second dose of either mRNA vaccine, since you are not fully immunized until you receive both doses.”  

All individuals will be advised of the vaccine they will receive at the time of their appointment. It is important to note that youth between the ages of 12 and 17 years of age at the time of their vaccine will only be offered Pfizer, as this is the only vaccine approved by Health Canada for this age group. In addition, the province has advised that “individuals who received a first dose of AstraZeneca/COVISHIELD and who do not wish to receive AstraZeneca/COVISHIELD for a second dose will be provided the option to receive an mRNA vaccine product for their second dose”. Those who received AstraZeneca are eligible to receive a second dose of vaccine 12 weeks after the first.

The following individuals are currently eligible to book a vaccination appointment:

For more information about vaccinations in our region, please visit our vaccine booking and eligibility page, or our vaccine safety and availability page. If you are eligible but do not yet have an appointment booked, please register on our Standby List.

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Media Contacts:

Emily Tubbs, Communications Specialist
etubbs@hpeph.ca

Maureen Hyland, Communications Specialist
mhyland@hpeph.ca

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COVID-19 VACCINES IN HPEPH

Appointments for individuals 5+ can be booked through the provincial vaccine booking site, or by calling 1-833-943-3900 from 8 am to 8 pm, 7 days a week.  

Due to limited supply, HPEPH will initially be prioritizing available bivalent vaccine for residents and workers at identified highest-risk facilities.  Some HPEPH vaccination clinics MAY offer the bivalent vaccine, as availability allows. Vaccine clinics in Hastings and Prince Edward Counties will continue to offer monovalent vaccines (the same mRNA vaccines given as the primary series) for all eligible individuals until a steady supply of the bivalent vaccine is available.

Visit the HPEPH vaccine booking web page for details.

COVID-19 PROTOCOLS

Symptoms or exposure? Visit www.ontario.ca/exposed for the most up to date information about what to do.

For the most up to date information on current provincial restrictions, visit https://covid-19.ontario.ca/public-health-measures.

The Ministry of Health has launched a new toll-free line as an additional resource to help answer questions from the public regarding evolving COVID-19 testing and isolation guidance. The line can be reached at 1-888-777-0730, and is available from 8 am to 6 pm, 7 days a week.