In a technical briefing, the Government of Ontario recently announced that it recommends using Pfizer’s COVID-19 vaccine instead of Moderna’s because of the lower rates of adverse side effects in young men between 18 to 24 years of age.
While the province’s medical experts point out that the vaccines from the two pharmaceutical companies have been proven to be safe and effective, they decided to go for the one made by Pfizer. This is because of the lower risk of developing myocarditis or pericarditis after administering the second dose. Myocarditis is an inflammation of the myocardium heart muscle, and pericarditis is inflammation of the heart’s outer lining.
Ontario’s health experts emphasize that these side effects are extremely rare and only happen in a very minimal group of individuals given their second shot of the COVID-19 vaccine. However, while these side effects are observed in about one in 28,000 for Pfizer’s vaccine, they have tallied around one in 5,000 for Moderna.
Hence, the decision to choose the Pfizer vaccine over Moderna was clinched. The provincial government also conducted consultations with Public Health Ontario, the Ontario Vaccine Clinical Advisory Group, and the Ontario Children’s COVID-19 Vaccine Table to ensure the soundness of this preference.
The data used to calculate the said figures were gathered between June 1 and August 7, after a total of 96,000 doses of mRNA vaccines were administered to young men across the province. The most common symptoms of myocarditis or pericarditis include fatigue, irregular heartbeat or palpitations, shortness of breath, and chest pain.
Despite the risk of adverse side effects like myocarditis or pericarditis, the provincial government of Ontario defended the use of vaccines since it protects individuals from the more severe health risks brought about by COVID-19.