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Canada panel says COVID-19 shots can be mixed, move could hit AstraZeneca

OTTAWA (Reuters) -An official Canadian panel on Tuesday said people who received a first shot of AstraZeneca PLC’s COVID-19 vaccine can choose to receive a different shot for their second dose, dealing another potential blow to the pharmaceutical giant.

The non-binding recommendation from the National Advisory Committee on Immunization (NACI) means Canadians can choose to get second doses from Moderna Inc or Pfizer Inc. This could hit demand for AstraZeneca’s vaccine, which has been linked to reports of blood clots that, while extremely rare, can be fatal.

NACI said Denmark, Finland, France, Germany, Norway, Spain and Sweden, citing the clots, had already been offering second doses from Moderna and Pfizer to people who had received their first shots from AstraZeneca.

FILE PHOTO: COVID-19 vaccination campaign, in Brampton, Ontario

“This is not a new concept. Similar vaccines from different manufacturers are used when vaccine supply or public health programs change,” NACI said in a statement.

It also said the vaccines from Pfizer and Moderna could be used interchangeably.

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