Peel Health bucks trend by now offering vaccine choice to Mississauga and Brampton residents


Published July 15, 2021 at 9:17 pm


Peel Region is going against its own strategy by offering Mississauga and Brampton residents a chance to pick their own brand of COVID-19 vaccine, in this case Pfizer.

But Medical Officer of Health Dr. Lawrence Loh is taking the high road with this change in direction. As he explained, he would sooner have everyone vaccinated than try to convince adamant sceptics that it is safe to mix brands.

Friday (July 16) is the first of what is expected to be several Pfizer Friday’s where people will be able to book appointments to exclusively receive a second dose of the Pfizer vaccine.

This approach will allow those who had a first dose of Pfizer to continue with the same brand of medication.

For most of the past month, because of a shortage of Pfizer, almost all vaccine recipients at clinics were given the Moderna brand as a second dose.

While Canadian health experts including Dr. Loh have continually stressed that mixing Pfizer and Moderna is safe, many first-dose Pfizer recipients refused to take Moderna, instead willing to wait on the sidelines until Pfizer became available again.

Complicating matters was a statement that came from the World Health Organization (WHO) this week which suggested that dose brands not be mixed.

“The science is clear that the vaccines are interchangeable,” explained Dr. Loh. “However we do recognize there are individuals who are seeking a specific brand and the science doesn’t necessarily convince them. So in view of that and to make sure that we get people access protection as quickly as possible, we will be offering on occasion special dose days such as Pfizer Friday.”

Dr. Loh went on to say the key to controlling the spread of the virus is for people to get the vaccine…any vaccine…and his goal is to do just that.

“I encourage all residents who are seeking that vaccine product (Pfizer) to book an appointment,” he said. “We encourage everyone to get two doses as quickly as possible in any combination.”

(Photo: The Canadian Press/Paul Chiasson)


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