Use of same Covid-19 vaccine for two doses advised – NIAC

Guidance on 40 to 49 year olds choosing earlier Covid-19 Vaccine Janssen

The same Covid-19 vaccines should be used for two dose schedules advises latest updated guidance released by the National Immunisation Advisory Committee (NIAC).

There was insufficient data on the interchangeability of Covid-19 vaccines, noted the updated chapter 5a to COVID-19 for the “Immunisation Guidelines for Ireland” released by NIAC.

However, the guidance also provided advice where consideration may be given to changing to a different vaccine for a second dose after anaphylaxis.

The NIAC update stated that mRNA vaccines were recommended for those aged under 50 years, including those with medical conditions with very high or high risk of severe Covid-19 disease.

The update added that in circumstances where a two-dose mRNA vaccination schedule was not a feasible alternative, when Covid-19 rates were high or increasing and/or the availability of mRNA vaccines was limited, Covid-19 Vaccine Janssen could be considered for those aged 18 to 49 years, and in such a situation, Covid-19 Vaccine Janssen may be recommended for those aged 18 to 49 years to provide early protection.

NIAC also advised that healthy people aged 40 to 49 years may choose to avail of an earlier Covid-19 Vaccine Janssen vaccine provided they have made an informed decision.

This decision should be based on their understanding of the risk of developing Thrombosis with Thrombocytopenia Syndrome (TTS) compared with the consequences of Covid-19 infection, the options of other effective public health measures and the benefits of a sooner vaccine, recommended the guidance.

For those aged under 65 years who were not immunocompromised, the guidance advised vaccination may be deferred for up to nine months after diagnosis, symptom onset, or from the first PCR or antigen positive specimen.

The latest update also outlined that the need for, and timing of booster doses following vaccination had not been established.

Co-administration Covid-19 vaccines and other vaccines may be administered at the same time or at any interval. As it was not known if Covid-19 vaccine reactogenicity was increased with coadministration, vaccines should preferably be given in different limbs, recommended the guidance.

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