Due to limited supply, the Middlesex London Health Unit (MLHU) has said it will be prioritizing the Pfizer-BioNTech COVID-19 vaccine for people 29 and under.
Otherwise, the health unit is urging people to take whatever vaccine they are offered at their vaccine appointments.
Starting Thursday, the MLHU will be using the Pfizer-BioNTech Comirnaty vaccine for people 12 to 29 and providing the Moderna Spikevax vaccine to clients 30 and over.
The health unit said the decision to prioritize the Pfizer vaccine for younger people is based on a recommendation made by the National Advisory Committee on Immunization (NACI).
“We want to ensure that everyone can get the protection they need, whether that’s a booster dose, a second dose, or even a first dose. That means using the vaccine we have now to build a stronger level of protection in the community,” says Dr. Alex Summers, acting medical officer of health with the MLHU.
“It’s worth reminding everyone that Pfizer and Moderna are essentially the same vaccines with different packaging. Both offer good protection, regardless of which you’ve received previously.”
The health unit has said the interchangeability of mRNA vaccines has been supported by experts at NACI and the Public Health Agency of Canada. People can receive either the Pfizer-BioNTech or Moderna mRNA vaccines as a second or booster dose, regardless of the vaccine received for previous doses.
This move will not affect pediatric Pfizer vaccine doses for children between the ages of five and 11.
All London and Middlesex County residents over the age of 18 are eligible to receive a booster dose of the COVID-19 vaccine, which has increased the demand for appointments at the Health Unit’s mass vaccination clinics.
The MLHU is currently booking appointments four weeks in advance, with over 1,500 new appointments released daily.
Meanwhile, the MLHU is dealing with a massive increase in cases due to the emergence of the Omicron variant.
On Thursday, the health unit reported its highest daily case count to date, with 263 new cases.
To book a COVID-19 vaccination appointment at a mass vaccination clinic in London or Middlesex County, people can visit the MLHU website.