On Thursday, the National Advisory Committee on Immunization presented updated guidance for Canadians, recommending that those who received AstraZeneca for their first dose get one of the mRNA vaccines for their second.
"We still know from the information that we're seeing here in B.C., but also primarily in the United Kingdom, where a lot of AstraZeneca has been used, that vaccine effectiveness is very good for both AstraZeneca and the mRNA vaccines", she said at a Thursday news conference.
NACI is now also recommending that people who received Pfizer or Moderna as their first dose should be offered the same vaccine for their second. "There is no need for a third dose at this time".
"It's really the immunogenicity, that immune response, after that mixed-dose schedule that's resulted in NACI updating this recommendation, because all the accumulated studies essentially suggest that immune response is a better response", said Tam at a news conference in Ottawa.
The Ministry of Health provides the breakdown of the first vaccine by type - AstraZeneca and Sinopharm.
Twenty per cent of B.C.'s adult population is now fully immunized, while 74.5 per cent of people aged 12 and over have received at least one dose of vaccine. This total of 50 million doses comes on top of the 30 million doses that AstraZeneca delivered at the end of the first quarter of 2021.
Australia's media said this was the advice of chief medical officer Paul Jelly this week, after two women died from an extremely rare blood clotting disorder and 60 Australians out of the 3.8 million who got the shot developed blood clots.
Should the company miss these deadlines it would face a penalty of "10 euros ($11.8) per dose not delivered", the EU Commission said.
The donation won't cost Canada anything, and will be on top of the 44 million doses Canada has purchased directly from Moderna. European Commission President Ursula von der Leyen said Friday's ruling supported the EU's view that AstraZeneca had failed to meet its commitments.
Canada has been heavily criticized for buying three times as many doses of COVID-19 vaccine than it needs and not sharing any doses from its own direct purchase agreements with vaccine makers. The World Health Organization has made repeated pleas for wealthier countries to share more doses with developing countries, some of whom have vaccinated very few people at all.
In B.C., AstraZeneca was rolled out in March and April during the third wave of the pandemic as a way to immunize high-risk workers and people not yet eligible through the age-based rollout that mostly used Pfizer. Its contract with the Commission foresaw an initial 300 million doses being distributed, with an option for another 100 million, but the speed of deliveries was far slower than the company originally thought.