COVID-19 vaccination clinics in Oxford, Elgin no longer offering Moderna

Moderna COVID-19 vaccine vials. (Photo courtesy of the Chatham-Kent Public Health Unit)

Supply issues with the Moderna COVID-19 vaccine have led the health unit for Oxford and Elgin counties to begin exclusively offering the Pfizer vaccine at its three immunization clinics.

Southwestern Public Health announced the change on Wednesday.

“All individuals who received a first dose of Moderna will receive the Pfizer-BioNTech vaccine for their second dose a minimum of 28 days after their first dose,” the health unit said. “Both vaccines are mRNA-based and offer interchangeable and compatible protection according to Health Canada and the Ontario Ministry of Health.”

The efficacy of the Pfizer vaccine is 95 per cent, while Moderna’s is 94.5 per cent.

According to the health unit, potential side effects from both vaccine brands are comparable.

People who received Moderna as their first dose do not have to cancel or rebook their next appointment if they choose to receive Pfizer as their second dose. Those who would prefer to get a second shot of Moderna are encouraged to do so through their local pharmacy or primary care physician.  A list of participating pharmacies can be found by clicking here.

The health unit advises individuals to call pharmacies to determine if they offer Moderna before cancelling the original second dose appointment at mass vaccination clinics. Appointments can be cancelled by calling 226-289-3560 from 8 a.m. to 7:30 p.m.