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Ontario recommends Pfizer-BioNTech COVID-19 vaccine to 18-24 years old

Christian Fernsby |
Ontario is issuing a preferential recommendation of the use of Pfizer-BioNTech vaccine for individuals aged 18-24 years old effective immediately based on the current available analysis from Ontario’s adverse events following immunization (AEFI) surveillance system.

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This recommendation was based on the advice of Ontario’s Children COVID-19 Vaccine Table, Ontario Vaccine Clinical Advisory Group, and Public Health Ontario and is due to an observed increase in Ontario of the very rare heart condition called pericarditis/myocarditis following vaccination with Moderna compared to Pfizer in the 18 to 24 year old age group, particularly among males.

The majority of reported cases have been mild with individuals recovering quickly, normally with anti-inflammatory medication. Symptoms have typically been reported to start within one week after vaccination, more commonly after the second dose.

This decision is also based on the increased and reliable supply of the Pfizer vaccines and the fact that individuals who received Moderna for their first dose can safely take the Pfizer-BioNTech vaccine for their second dose.

Mixing vaccines is safe and effective, and full vaccination with two doses of the mRNA vaccine offers the greatest protection you can have against COVID-19 and the Delta variant.

Should individuals aged 18 to 24-year old wish to receive Moderna they can continue to do so with informed consent. The province will continue using the Pfizer vaccine for youth ages 12-17 (including those turning 12 in 2021).

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