Niagara’s Medical Officer of Health quells fear over Moderna

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Published June 23, 2021 at 7:53 pm

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It would seem that a growing number of Niagara Region residents are increasingly nervous about getting Moderna as their second vaccination after they received Pfizer as their first.

To that end, Dr. Mustafa Hirji, the Region’s Acting Medical Officer of Health, has one thing to say: Calm down, they’re basically the same vaccine simply being made by two different companies.

The Region was getting feedback from a skittish public over the vaccine change-up when a large majority received Pfizer as their first shot.

To quell fears, Hirji produced a video, explaining any fear is unfounded.

“We are very lucky in Canada that we got multiple vaccines approved by Health Canada within one year of the pandemic starting,” he said at the start of the video.

“And the two mainstays of our vaccination program and the two vaccines that are most recommended are the Moderna vaccine and the Pfizer vaccine. Both of these vaccines are developed on the same technology. They’re extremely similar and when we compare their performance in clinical trials, there’s basically no difference between them.”

Hirji says people don’t need to worry about receiving the Moderna shot. 

“Now we’ve heard that some people are a little bit unsure about the Moderna vaccine. I want to reassure you that the Moderna vaccine is really identical to the Pfizer vaccine. There’s nothing to pick between them. It’s just a different company producing basically the same vaccine. Perhaps it’s because it’s a less-familiar household name. Of course, Pfizer’s a much larger pharmaceutical company so you may have run across their name more.”

Hirji said there’s no reason to believe that Moderna is a lesser vaccine. 

“They also had more vaccines delivered to Canada so maybe more people have received it but there’s no reason to believe the Pfizer vaccine is superior to the Moderna vaccine.”

“They’re completely equivalent and if you get either of those vaccines, you should be very confident you’re getting extremely good protection from Covid-19 and, of course, protecting everyone around you, as well.”

Cover photo courtesy of The Canadian Press

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