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Vaccine panel says Canada can delay second dose of COVID-19 vaccine if shortage

They say delaying the second dose up to six weeks could allow those getting their first shot at least some protection against COVID-19 in the meantime.
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Canada's national panel of vaccine experts says the second COVID-19 vaccine dose can be delayed briefly in a bid to get more people the first dose faster.

The National Advisory Committee on Immunization says every effort should be made to follow the 21-day and 28-day dosing schedules recommended for the two vaccines approved in Canada to date.

But as the pandemic heats up and vaccine supplies are slow to trickle in, they say delaying the second dose up to six weeks, instead of three or four, could more quickly get at least some protection against COVID-19 to more people.

Canada is getting enough vaccine doses to vaccinate the vast majority of Canadians by the fall but the bulk of that won't happen until later in the spring and summer and provinces are warning they're going to run out of doses.

 
Clinical trials on the Pfizer-BioNTech and Moderna vaccines both showed the first dose provided some protection against serious illness from COVID-19, but the majority of patients in both trials received a second dose on schedule, leaving very limited data on how long the protection from the first dose lasts.
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