Moderna rolled out after Pfizer shots delayed

Moderna rolled out after Pfizer shots delayed

The Eastern Ontario Health Unit (EOHU) stressed that the Pfizer and Moderna vaccines were interchangeable, and were equally safe and effective. Residents who received Pfizer for their first dose could safely receive Moderna for their second dose, and vice versa. 

The remaining Pfizer shots would be reserved for those aged between 12 and 17, as it was the only vaccine approved in Canada for that age group. Dr. Paul Roumeliotis said the two vaccine types were easily interchangeable. 

“They are mRNA [vaccines], they work the same way, it’s just two different companies making similar products,” he said. “It’s not unusual for us to interchange vaccines. We do it with flu vaccines all the time, so it’s nothing new to us.” 

Last week, the number of vaccines administered overtook the number of COVID-19 tests recorded in the region since the start of the pandemic. As of Monday afternoon, 159,905 vaccines had been administered, compared to 142,018 tests. Second dose eligibility has increased, with those who received their first dose on May 9 or earlier able to book an earlier appointment for a second dose as of Monday. That eligibility will extend to all adults from next week. 

The EOHU region recorded just one new COVID-19 case over the weekend, while none were recorded in Prescott-Russell. Only 11 cases were active in the region as of Monday, of which three were in Prescott-Russell communities. Alfred-Plantagenet, Clarence-Rockland, and The Nation had one case each, while the remaining Prescott-Russell municipalities recorded no active cases. 

Dr. Roumeliotis said all cases active in the region were variants of concern, though none were the most contagious “delta” variant present in other parts of Ontario. He said a delta case had been detected a few weeks ago, but did not appear to have spread beyond an initial patient. 

“One first dose of the vaccine will protect you about 35 percent or so from getting the infection, however we know one dose will protect you 85 percent if not more against hospitalization,” he said. “That’s very important. We still want to be careful with the delta variant, and that’s why we want to accelerate second doses.” 

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