Canadian Prime Minister Trudeau opted for the Moderna vaccine for second dose of the Covid-19

Canadian Prime Minister Trudeau opted for the Moderna vaccine for second dose of the Covid-19

Canadian Prime Minister Justin Trudeau has opted for the Moderna vaccine for his second dose of the Covid-19 jab after having received the AstraZeneca one for the primary .

Trudeau is scheduled to be inoculated on Friday in Ottawa, along side his wife Sophie Gregoire.

The choice of the mRNA vaccine manufactured by the American firm came after Canadian health authorities updated guidance allowing vaccine interchangeability. On June 17, the National Advisory Committee on Immunisation (NACI) announced that mRNA Covid-19 vaccines were deemed the “preferred” jabs for both the primary and second dose albeit the primary was administered using AZ, which is manufactured in India under the Covishield name .

In its recommendations, NACI said the mRNA vaccines should be preferred unless “is inaccessible or there's a contraindication, for instance , an allergy to an mRNA vaccine or its components”. Only within the latter circumstances should a viral vector vaccine, like AZ, be offered.

It also endorsed vaccine interchangeability, basically that doses can now be mixed with those receiving the primary dose of AZ now being given the second dose as an mRNA vaccine like those from Pfizer-BioNTech or Moderna.

NACI said that “emerging evidence” from studies in Germany have suggested a “potentially better immune reaction , including against variants of concern, when a primary dose of the AstraZeneca vaccine is followed by a second dose of the Pfizer-BioNTech mRNA vaccine, compared to 2 doses of the AstraZeneca vaccine”. Similarly, it said, evidence suggested that such mixing “has an honest safety profile”.

The Trudeaus received their first injection at a pharmacy in Ottawa, and just before getting the jab, the Prime Minister said he was “very excited” to urge it.

While there are concerns about adverse reactions to the AZ vaccine, Canadian health authorities have maintained that the “benefits of vaccines authorised in Canada still outweigh the risks”.

In its latest data on adverse events linked to vaccines, the general public Health Agency of Canada had noted that of the 31,400,466 doses administered till June 18, just 1,719 or 0.005% had caused serious reactions. These include anaphylaxis or a severe allergy to the vaccine, cases of blood coagulation , a rare syndrome associated following vaccination with AZ/Covishield vaccine.

Health authorities also are monitoring other reactions like capillary leak and Guillain-Barre syndrome , linked to the AZ jab. the previous causes fluid to leak from small blood vessels while the latter is an immune disorder.

Health Canada has also recently introduced labelling for the mRNA vaccines, warning of the likelihood of myocarditis (inflammation of the guts muscle) and pericarditis (inflammation of the liner round the heart).

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