Pfizer recipients can advance second dose appointment with Moderna vaccine, province says

James Marshall
June 24, 2021

U.S. health authorities plan to update official guidance about administering mRNA Covid vaccines to adolescents and young adults after finding a likely link to rare cases of heart inflammation, but say the overall benefits still "clearly" outweigh the risks.

"Some residents with dose two appointments booked for this week have actually refused Moderna and walked away".

"However, nothing in life is absolutely risk free", he said.

Public Health Ontario said of the 19 reports, four were diagnosed with myocarditis, 12 were diagnosed with pericarditis and the other three were either perimyocarditis, myopericarditis or inflammatory cardiac reaction of unclear significance.

Doctors and hospitals have been warned by the CDC to watch for symptoms of myocarditis or pericarditis, and the FDA warning will further raise awareness.

On Wednesday, the CDC's working group said available data does suggest a likely link between myocarditis and mRNA vaccination in adolescents and young adults.

"These cases are rare, and the vast majority have fully resolved with rest and supportive care", said CDC director Rochelle Walensky last week ahead of the meeting, which was initially scheduled for last Friday but postponed because of a new public holiday.

The CDC's available outcome data also showed patients suffering from post-vaccination heart inflammation generally do recover from their symptoms, which can include chest pain.

"Currently, the benefits still clearly outweigh the risks for COVID-19 vaccination in adolescents and young adults", reads a slide from the presentation. But White House press secretary Jen Psaki said Monday the administration didn't expect to reach the 80 million goal because of challenges with getting the vaccines to where they're needed. Researchers and officials are tracking the phenomenon closely, but so far they've found no cause for alarm. The vaccination rate was lowest among people 18-29 years old, at 38.3%.

As of June 12 in Ontario, there have been 19 reports of the heart conditions following vaccination.

Pfizer and Moderna both employ the same mRNA technology and are essentially the exact same product, which makes the fact that citizens continue to be heistant about mixing brands extremely frustrating for clinics experiencing cancellations as the government strives to immunize as many people as quickly as possible.

"To date, no clear association has been established between myocarditis/pericarditis and COVID-19 vaccines", reads the most recent federal vaccine safety update. The numbers are higher than would be expected for those ages.

The cases are predominantly among males, most occur after the second dose, and there are no confirmed deaths.

"People who have had their first dose without any serious side effects can be confident in getting their second dose", the Department of Health said in a statement.

Pfizer, whose vaccine has been authorized for use in Americans as young as 12, previously said it had not observed a higher rate of heart inflammation than would normally be expected in the general population.

Canada's National Advisory Committee on Immunization (NACI) has also officially recommended that any individual who received a Pfizer innoculation go on to get either Pfizer or Moderna as their second (and vice versa), and also that anyone who received the AstraZeneca version get either AstraZeneca, Pfizer or Moderna as their final dose.

Other reports by Click Lancashire

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