05 March 2021
A review of Jersey’s COVID-19 Vaccination Programme has concluded that it is reasonable and safe to use a different COVID vaccine for second doses, when the same vaccine type (as first dose) is unavailable or not suitable.
The policy largely applies to those being vaccinated at home who could therefore receive the AstraZeneca vaccine for their second dose, if they received the Pfizer vaccine as their first dose, depending on supply availability.
The recommendation has been made by Deputy Medical Officer of Health, Dr Ivan Muscat, Chief Pharmacist, Paul McCabe, and Associate Medical Director, Dr Adrian Noon. The panel have agreed to use a vaccine from a different manufacturer for the second dose when appropriate. This approach has been endorsed by the Joint Committee on Vaccination and Immunisation.
The Head of the COVID-19 Vaccination Programme, Becky Sherrington, said: “The Pfizer vaccine was the first vaccine we received in December, when we started our vaccination roll out to residential and care homes.
“The Pfizer vaccine cannot be transported from one location to another once it is diluted and ready for use, which makes the AstraZeneca vaccine a more practical solution when vaccination teams are out delivering vaccine in Islanders’ homes.
“Having the option to give the AstraZeneca vaccine as an alternative second dose will provide much more flexibility, allowing us to easily transport vaccinations to people in their homes, preventing vaccine wastage, and fully protecting more Islanders.”
This delivery model will be used in low numbers in the community and will not be the model of delivery at the Vaccination Centre at Fort Regent where the transport of vaccine is not necessary.
Dr Ivan Muscat, Deputy Medical Office of Health, said: “We need to vaccinate as many people as possible, as soon as possible, so being able to give a different second dose of the vaccine in the community, safely, is a positive step. It will help to protect our most vulnerable Islanders while also maximising use of our vaccine supply, and therefore protecting our population.”