Ontario issues 'preferential recommendation' of the use of Pfizer COVID-19 vaccine for some adults

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A vaccinator wearing a face mask works at a COVID-19 vaccination clinic at a subway station in Toronto, Canada, on Sept. 25, 2021. Canada's cumulative COVID-19 cases surpassed 1,600,000 as of Saturday afternoon, with the total hitting 1,600,354, including 27,636 deaths, according to CTV. (Photo by Zou Zheng/Xinhua)

Ontario is issuing a "preferential recommendation" of the use of the Pfizer-BioNTech COVID-19 vaccine, over the Moderna vaccine, for adults between the ages of 18 and 24.

This is due to an increase in the "very rare" heart condition pericarditis/myocarditis, following administration of the Moderna vaccine, particularly among males in that age group.

"The majority of reported cases have been mild with individuals recovering quickly, normally with anti-inflammatory medication," the statement from Dr. Kieran Moore, Ontario's chief medical officer of health, reads. "Symptoms have typically been reported to start within one week after vaccination, more commonly after the second dose."

Dr. Moore confirmed at a press conference on Wednesday that there have been no fatalities associated with this "rare side effect" of the vaccine.

I know that this news may make some people nervous and heighten concerns about receiving COVID vaccine, and I can understand that, but the benefits of vaccination continue to significantly outweigh the risks of COVID-19 illness, and related, possibly severe, consequences.Dr. Kieran Moore, Chief Medical Officer of Health

He added that he "did have concerns" about addressing this, particularly when concerns around pericarditis/myocarditis following vaccination have been connected to vaccine hesitancy throughout the pandemic.

"We have to have accountability to the public and I think the public deserves to know the facts on the risks that we've identified in Ontario," Dr. Moore said.

"Also in transparency, I have three young boys, two of whom are in the 20 to 24-year-old age group and they both received Moderna, I had no concerns about them having that product. Moderna is an excellent product, it's got very good immune uptake and it's got very good prolonged immune response and protection."

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