Eastern Health is now offering earlier appointments for COVID-19 second dose vaccines

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Eastern Health is now offering earlier appointments for COVID-19 second dose vaccines
Eastern Health is now offering earlier appointments for COVID-19 second dose vaccines

Eastern Health’s COVID-19 vaccine portal crashed for a time yesterday afternoon after it was revealed that people can start bumping up their second dose appointments.

Chief Medical Officer of Health Dr. Janice Fitzgerald revealed during the update that some appointment times could be booked as of yesterday but most could not be booked until Monday.

All appointments previously scheduled for August 6th and beyond have been cancelled.

Fitzgerald says it is important that everyone get their second dose as soon as possible, noting that people shouldn’t delay receiving their shot just so that they get the same vaccine as their first.

She says Pfizer and Moderna are interchangeable, and people who received AstraZeneca for a first dose can choose either of the three.

Fitzgerald says information from large-scale studies on vaccine interchangeability isn’t available right now but based on what they know about vaccine science, she believes it is “quite safe” to get a different vaccine the second time around.

Meanwhile, the province’s health minister says demand for first doses of the COVID-19 vaccine is not beginning to wane.

Recently, Alberta announced a vaccine lottery to entice more people to get their shot due to decreasing demand. John Haggie says this province is not seeing a similar trend.

He says the health authorities are “gaining ground” with the groups that had their eligibility open up later.

Haggie says demand has decreased in age groups that had their shots much earlier, and they’re now focusing on second doses. But, overall “demand is high.”

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