St. Catharines MP asks constituents not to be fussy over which vaccine they receive

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Published January 18, 2022 at 11:41 am

St. Catharines MP Chris Bittle recalled an encounter with a resident who was upset over not being able to get the Pfizer vaccine and was instead offered Moderna.

“A constituent was angry with me over my vaccine posts and the fact they couldn’t get a Pfizer shot and stormed off from the vaccine clinic,” said Bittle. “They advised me they can’t believe the ‘media or Liberals’.”

He added if residents are told a clinic has both Pfizer and Moderna, those over 30 years old will almost certainly end up getting a Moderna jab.

Echoing words that Niagara Region’s acting Medical Officer of Health Dr. Mustafa Hirji himself taped when the vaccines were first coming out, Moderna and Pfizer are virtually the same vaccine simply made by two different companies.

“If you’re over 30, it is interchangeable and safe. Mixing vaccines is safe. I received AstraZeneca and Moderna. My kids’ mom, who is a physician, has received Pfizer and Moderna. I have friends who have received all three,” said Bittle.

“Though the initial reports that Pfizer was ‘most effective’ received a lot of press, the scientific consensus seems to be they offer the similar protection,” he continued. “This is like Coke versus Pepsi where taste doesn’t matter.”

Bittle was quick to acknowledge that he was not a medical professional but asked that people who are concerned over mixing vaccines simply asked either their family doctor or any staff at vaccination clinics.

“I appreciate that you may have serious concerns about mixing and reading my posts you may say to yourself  ‘He’s a politician and a lawyer, what does he know?’ and you’re right. Please speak to your family doctor or the public health staff at the clinic and they can answer your questions much better than strangers on the internet.”

The reason Moderna is the vaccine for the over-30 crowd, he said, is that “Pfizer is prioritized for younger people because it has a lower risk of side effects for people under 30. (But) they are both effective mRNA vaccines.”

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