Ottawa: Canada’s National Advisory Committee on Immunizations (NACI) has recommended those who received the Oxford-AstraZeneca COVID-19 vaccine as their first shot to get vaccinated with a messenger RNA (mRNA) vaccine for their second dose.Also Read - Here's How to Register For Covishield, Covaxin, Sputnik Vaccine on Paytm, CoWIN And Aarogya Setu | Step-by-Step Guide

There are two mRNA vaccines currently approved for use in Canada produced by Pfizer-BioNTech and Moderna. The NACI said the mixed-dose schedule provides better protection against the disease and reduces the risk of developing Vaccine-Induced Immune Thrombotic Thrombocytopenia. Also Read - Single Shot of Covishield Offers 61% Effectiveness Against Delta Strain: Covid Panel Chief

“An mRNA vaccine should now be offered as the second dose for individuals who received a first dose of AstraZeneca or [its Indian analogue] COVISHIELD vaccine,” Canada’s Chief Public Health Officer Dr. Theresa Tam said during a press briefing on Thursday. Also Read - Maharashtra Man Claims He Got Magnetic Powers After 2 Doses of Covishield Vaccine. Watch Viral Video

Canadian public health officials have received 56 reports of blood clotting events following vaccination with AstraZeneca, with 38 of the cases being confirmed, and all were related to the first dose.

Canada’s “vaccine tzar” Krista Brodie said there are 600,000 AstraZeneca vaccine doses in circulation in the country and their future will now be determined by the provinces.

Canada’s vaccination regime has faced repeated setbacks, with the country experiencing a shortage of doses, while NACI has been criticized for inconsistent messaging and Canadian health officials’ decision to delay the time between vaccinations for up to four months based solely on acquisition schedules.

(With ANI inputs)