Experts argue vaccine interchangeability is ‘safe’

(Toronto) Experts and politicians on Monday defended the “interchangeability” of the second-dose Moderna and Pfizer MRNA vaccines, with late deliveries leading to changes in immunization schedules for many Canadians.


The federal government has announced that the weekly delivery of 2.4 million doses of the Pfizer-BioNTech vaccine will be delayed by a few days — it will arrive in the middle of the week. The delay prompted some counties to introduce a second dose of Moderna instead of Pfizer — and urged citizens not to forgo the booster dose because of this sudden “hybrid” vaccination.

Quebec Prime Minister Francois Legault confirmed on Monday that according to experts, there will be a “small additional protection” associated with the possibility of vaccines being exchanged. “On the other hand, there is a very small increase in the risk of consequences” (side effects), he added at a press conference in Montreal Monday morning, when he had just received his second dose of the Pfizer vaccine. Olympic Stadium in Montreal.

“In the next two weeks, we will receive less from Pfizer,” he said. We will be able to fulfill all the commitments we made for vaccination. On the other hand, for two weeks, we won’t take any more, until we get confirmation. Mr. Legault also praised the benefits of interchangeability for those who were going to get AstraZeneca on the first dose, and who should pass without problem, he says, to Moderna on the second dose.

In Ontario, citizens were recently told that they may receive a different mRNA vaccine for their second dose, with many Ontarians able to go ahead with their second appointment starting Monday morning. The chief medical officer of health for the province has urged Ontarians who got Pfizer in the first dose not to hesitate if offered a second dose of Moderna. “We want you to have full protection ASAP,” Dr. David Williams said, noting that the most contagious delta type continued to spread in the county. “Vaccines can be mixed without risk,” he said.

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Dr. Jeff Kwong, an epidemiologist at the University of Toronto, feared that people would delay their second dose because they were offered Moderna, which would slow the vaccination momentum. According to him, analyzes of data collected by the independent research organization ICES show that two doses of Moderna are “just as good” as two doses of Pfizer at preventing infection: therefore, there is no reason to believe that “a first dose of Pfizer and a second dose of Moderna will be worse than Two doses of Pfizer.

The Alberta government also informed citizens that vaccine schedules may have to be changed depending on the supply, and they also stressed that the two mRNA injections are considered interchangeable. “Right now, more Moderna is available. If you book at Moderna, the regional health agency said Monday, you’ll be able to get an appointment early and thus complete your vaccination program.

In Manitoba, authorities encouraged adults to vaccinate Moderna and even warned that the government may have to cancel Pfizer’s appointments after July 7, due to a slowdown in product supplies.

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