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HKPR still seeing Moderna hesitancy from local community

DAN CEARNS, Local Journalism Initiative Reporter, for The Standard

NORTH DURHAM/KAWARTHA: The Haliburton, Kawartha, Pine Ridge District Health Unit continues to see community hesitancy regarding the Moderna COVID-19 vaccine.

“We are still noticing the same hesitancy towards Moderna. We continue to share information about the Moderna vaccine if people have questions. [We’re] still seeing about the 10 percent no-show rates [to appointments] or decrease in appointment booking. I think there may be a part of the community waiting for the shipments of Pfizer vaccine to come,” local medical officer of health Dr. Natalie Bocking told reporters on Wednesday, January 19th.

However, she explained why waiting for Pfizer shipments before getting your booster dose is not the best strategy.

“I think the challenge with that strategy is we don’t know for sure when those shipments of Pfizer are going to come. What we do know is the protection a booster dose offers is needed now and not three weeks from now or four weeks from now,” Dr. Bocking said. “I would encourage people not to wait for Pfizer to be available.”

Dr. Bocking previously discussed the Moderna hesitancy during a virtual press conference on Wednesday, January 12th.

“We do have an ongoing shortage of adult Pfizer doses of vaccine, and as such, we continue to offer Moderna vaccine for individuals aged 30 and over at health unit-led immunization clinics. There’s sufficient supply certainly for the pediatric dose of Pfizer. Then for individuals aged 12 to 29, the adult Pfizer we do have is being reserved for this age cohort because there is a preferential recommendation for Pfizer vaccination among that age group. We are seeing some people decline [the] Moderna vaccine, either when they come to [a] clinic and realize Pfizer vaccine is not available and they are not under the age of 30, or [when they] have cancelled their appointment [because of it]. I have to admit, I don’t fully understand all of the hesitations around [the] Moderna vaccine, especially when we read the latest data about [the] Moderna vaccine demonstrating a boost in immunity. [It’s] certainly equivalent to [the] Pfizer booster dose, if not slightly better than [the] Pfizer booster dose,” she said at the time.

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