EDITORIAL: Double vaxxed or fully vexed? – Toronto Sun

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A healthcare worker prepares a dose of the Johnson & Johnson vaccine for the coronavirus disease (COVID-19) during the opening of the MTA's public vaccination program at Grand Central Terminal train station in Manhattan in New York City, New York, U.S., May 12, 2021.
A healthcare worker prepares a dose of the Johnson & Johnson vaccine for the coronavirus disease (COVID-19) during the opening of the MTA’s public vaccination program at Grand Central Terminal train station in Manhattan in New York City, New York, U.S., May 12, 2021. Photo by Carlo Allegri /REUTERS

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Once again this country is plunged into a vaccine black hole because the federal government has botched the rollout.

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Time and again, the National Advisory Committee on Immunization has issued misleading or poorly communicated advice. They’ve created a buffet for the anti-vaxxers to feast on and fuelled the fears of the vaccine hesitant.

The latest snafu is about mixing vaccines.

As recently as July 22, NACI recommended that mixing vaccines was not just okay, it was preferred. It said that following a first AstraZeneca shot, a second shot with an mRNA vaccine, such as Pfizer or Moderna, is “preferred,” because it could produce better immune response and because of emerging safety concerns.

Now many countries, including the U.S., do not consider those who’ve had mixed vaccines to be fully vaccinated.

On July 12, the WHO issued a warning about mixing vaccines, although they later backed off, saying they were referring to people who mixed and matched on their own. The U.S. Centers for Disease Control currently recommends delaying the second shot rather than mixing vaccines.

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Still, thousands of Canadians have taken the advice of health professionals and politicians in this country and mixed vaccines if it was faster to become fully vaccinated that way. Now they find themselves locked out of travel destinations.

Prime Minister Justin Trudeau reinforced NACI’s advice and got a second shot of Moderna, having first received AZ. We hope he’s not planning to visit U.S. President Joe Biden in Washington any time soon, because he’ll be turned away at the border.

Quebec officials announced this week they’ll allow its citizens who’ve mixed vaccines to get a third shot, so they’ll be accepted by all countries and cruise lines. Other provinces could follow suit. That’s problematic on two fronts: It takes away valuable vaccines from jurisdictions that don’t have any. And no one can give a straight answer on what that third dose does to a human body.

For sure, after a slow start, this country’s vaccine rollout is now doing very well. But people who once thought they were good to go are now being held hostage by a short-sighted government.

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