The Ontario Pharmacists Association reports that about half of customers eligible for a booster dose of Moderna in pharmacies refuse to have this vaccine.
It creates quite a puzzlesays Justin Bates, president of the Ontario Pharmacists Association, noting that its members face multiple last-minute cancellations, not to mention people who decide to leave while sitting in the vaccinator’s chair.
The situation is the same in mass vaccination centers, according to Dr. Allan Grill, chief of family medicine services at Markham Stouffville Hospital, a suburb of Toronto.
” As soon as they sit in the chair, they ask me to confirm that they will have the Pfizer vaccine. They don’t want to receive anything else. “
Dr. Grill says now is not the time to shop for his vaccine.
Omicron spreads with lightning speed and people are getting sick, he emphasizes.
In Toronto, only Moderna’s vaccine is currently offered to people 18 and over in mass immunization centers, for example. In Durham Region, Moderna is given to those 30 and over. More doses of Pfizer are expected later this month.
A similar trend was seen last spring when many Ontarians who received a first dose of Pfizer refused to have another vaccine for their second dose. Others believed Moderna’s vaccine was less effective, while some had concerns about the risk of myocarditis and pericarditis.
Public health authorities assure that the two vaccines are safe, interchangeable and equivalent.
Ontario’s Chief Medical Officer of Health Dr. Kieran Moore took advantage of a media availability Thursday to tell the public now is not the time to wait for their third dose.
” I received Moderna for my booster dose. According to the most recent data, the protection offered by Moderna’s vaccine is very robust, especially among the elderly. “
Pfizer on the market
Torontonian Jason Chomik switched to Moderna on January 1 to get his third dose quickly.
He had canceled two appointments for his second dose, because he absolutely wanted to have Pfizer’s vaccine at the time.
” If the cases hadn’t increased so quickly, I probably would have waited. I’m glad I got my booster, but I’m still worried about the possible long-term effects of the vaccine mixture. “
Mr. Bates notes that Pfizer’s vaccine continues to be more popular, partly because the company is well known.
It’s hard to change public perceptions, he said.
Toronto Medical Officer of Health Dr. Eileen de Villa retorts that
some studies indicate that Moderna’s vaccine would be more effective [en dose de rappel] against the Omicron variant.
With information provided by Lisa Xing of CBC News