Pfizer or Moderna? Pharmacists denounce “buying of vaccines” in NB | COVID-19 in the Atlantic

Pharmacist and New Brunswick Pharmacists Association board member Dennis Abud says people Shopping around the third dose and this problem affects several regions of the province.

Dennis Abud, pharmacist and board member of the New Brunswick Pharmacists Association.

Photo: Radio-Canada

It’s everywhere, the clinics don’t get crowded when it’s Moderna. By the time it’s Pfizer, the clinic is packed, he says.

Elsewhere in the country, the Pharmacists Association reports that almost half of Ontarians have refused Moderna booster shots at the pharmacy.

Dennis Abud clarifies that some people make several appointments at some pharmacies and clinics to try to receive the desired vaccine, without canceling the other appointments.

In New Brunswick, most adults over the age of 30 currently receive a booster dose of Moderna’s vaccine. Public health advocates the use of the Pfizer vaccine for people under 30 years of age, due to limited supplies and lower rates of myocarditis or pericarditis (inflammation of the heart) when this vaccine is given.

A headache for pharmacists

This situation creates many problems for pharmacists who end up with too many doses. They fear having to waste doses unnecessarily.

Cancellations are easy to handle, but that’s when people don’t show up. There they take us with an extra dose at the end of the day, we have to find peopleexplains Dennis Abud.

According to the pharmacist, people are reluctant to receive a vaccine from a different manufacturer than the one who gave them the previous dose. They fear possible complications or side effects.

However, the science is reassuring.

Benoit Barbeau, professor in the Department of Biological Sciences at UQÀM and specialist in virology.

Benoit Barbeau, professor in the Department of Biological Sciences at UQÀM and specialist in virology.

Photo: Radio-Canada

Benoît Barbeau, a professor in the department of biological sciences at UQAM and an expert in virology, points out that serious side effects from the vaccine are very rare, regardless of whether Moderna or Pfizer makes it.

Remember that these complications are treatable, most do not require hospital treatment, and hospital treatment is short-term., he said.

According to him, people’s fear of the Moderna vaccine comes from the circulation of information at the beginning of the vaccination campaign. This type of vaccine was associated with more complications than Pfizer’s, due to a higher amount of RNA in the initial doses of the Moderna vaccine, which is believed to have caused side effects.

Whether it’s Moderna or Pfizer, the third dose is needed, according to the virology expert.

If you get Moderna after Pfizer, it’s more or less the same type of vaccine formulation, […] the technology is the same and ultimately the impact will be the same, stresses Benoît Barbeau.

For him, it is riskier to refuse the booster dose and risk getting COVID-19.

« Deciding not to take Moderna for the reasons and information that has been circulated is certainly not the right idea, the right solution. »

a quote from Benoît Barbeau, virologist

The risk of hospitalization is still very present in this fifth wave. The Omicron variant, although associated with less severe symptoms, is highly infectious. Some of us, as few as possible, will have to be hospitalized, launches Benoît Barbeau.

The province is trying to vaccinate as many New Brunswickers as possible by the end of the planned shutdown in less than a week.

For its part, the New Brunswick Medical Society says it understands that people may be reluctant to receive a different vaccine than the one they received for the first two doses, but insists that both vaccines work in the same way and both provide safe and effective protection against the disease and the risk of hospitalization and death associated with it.

However, given the limited supply of Pfizer’s vaccine for the next several months, and given that the National Advisory Committee on Immunization has stated that these two vaccines can be used interchangeably, we encourage the public to take advantage of them now., specifies the organization by email.

Pharmacist Dennis Abud urges people to get their booster dose, regardless of the type of vaccine.

This is really not the time to buy vaccines. We have to vaccinate, the more people who have the third dose the better, the faster we will get out of confinement, the faster we will return to normality. Take the vaccine that is available, he concludes.

Based on information from Sarah Déry

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