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Health Unit says get the first COVID-19 vaccine available to you

Local residents are being encouraged to get the first COVID-19 vaccine that is available to them. 

That includes both the first and second dose.  

Andrea McLellan, Director of COVID-19 Immunization Strategy, says some people have been leery of taking a vaccine that is not the same as their first dose.  

But she also says the vast majority have taken a mix of vaccines following a conversation with staff.  

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“The important thing for people to remember is that the vaccines are safe, efficient and effective.  Both of them (Pfizer and Moderna) are mNRA technology and both of them offer great efficacy and protection.  So we strongly encourage people to take the first vaccine that is available,” she says. 

Shannon Mantha, Executive Director of Clinical Services and Chief Nursing Officer, says they’re seeing cases among people in many different age and income groups, and right across the district.  

“When there is community spread and as long as COVID-19 is a reality for us, we all have to take precautions and treat people like they have COVID.  It’s a very real reality and it’s just keeping in mind all the public health measures and getting fully vaccinated as soon as you can,”  she says. 

Dr. Jim Chirico, Medical Officer of Health, echoes the message of residents getting the first vaccine available to them. 

“The longer you wait for a specific brand, the more time we give COVID-19 to adapt and change. Mixing vaccine brands is not something new, it’s done with other routine vaccines and we don’t even think about it,” explains Dr. Chirico. “We need to all work together by following public health measures and getting fully vaccinated to make our most recent shutdown our last.”

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