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Second vaccine doses should be given ASAP: NACI

Last Updated May 28, 2021 at 1:31 pm EDT

FILE - In this Jan. 21, 2021 file photo a medical staff member prepares the Pfizer COVID-19 vaccine at Tudor Ranch in Mecca, Calif. (AP Photo/Jae C. Hong, File)

OTTAWA – Canada’s vaccine advisory board is changing its recommendation on when to give people their second COVID-19 vaccine.

The National Advisory Committee on Immunization (NACI) says now that there’s a greater vaccine supply flowing into Canada, second shots should be doled out as soon as possible.

“The 16-week interval was the upper limit and provinces and territories should aim to start administering second doses as quickly as regional logistics allows it,” said NACI Chair Dr. Caroline Quach-Thanh, in a statement online.

“First doses have been a highly effective starting point from a population immunity perspective, and we now need to move towards our second doses to provide more complete long-term protection.”

Previously NACI said the second dose could be delayed by up to four months.

NACI is also updating its guidance on shots for people who are immunosuppressed, pregnant, or breastfeeding.

The agency says those populations were not included in early clinical trials and because of that it was only those people be given shots under specific circumstances.

“Given the ongoing risks of COVID-19 exposure and severe disease in Canada, NACI is strongly recommending vaccine for these populations who are pregnant, with autoimmune, and immunosuppressive conditions along with the rest of the population,” said Quach-Thanh.

NACI also says mRNA vaccines like Pfizer or Moderna are the preferred shots for pregnant people.