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Hundreds of Moderna vaccines to expire because locals prefer Pfizer

Pharmacists are struggling to administer Moderna doses -- as people continue to try to get a Pfizer dose instead
moderna vaccine
Moderna vaccine vials. Stock photo.

Hundreds of thousands of Moderna doses in the region are on their way to expiry -- simply because more people prefer Pfizer over Moderna.

That's according to Kelly Grindrod, a professor at the University of Waterloo's School of Pharmacy, who said local pharmacies had previously ordered large amounts of Moderna doses to meet the large demand from the community.

"And then sometime last week, the demand just plummeted and so what was originally a week's worth of vaccine or two week's worth of vaccine -- they're not going to get through it in time. So a number of pharmacies in town have dozens or well over a hundred, possibly hundreds of doses, and there's nobody coming for it."

She told The Mike Farwell Show on 570 NEWS that scientifically, Pfizer and Moderna are very alike.

"The only difference between Pfizer and Moderna is that Moderna is more stable. It's stable for longer and at a more regular temperature," she said. "Beyond that, they are essentially the same. They are based on the same information, they're making essentially the same COVID spike protein."

She noted as Canadians, we are extremely privileged to have access to the Moderna vaccine.

"We've decided that we're going to pick and choose without actually understanding that Pfizer and Moderna are extraordinarily effective vaccines -- both, yet people are walking away from them. So for me, when I look at this at a global level, it's heartbreaking that people are doing this when much of the world has no vaccine."

She says they have mixed vaccines for years -- for instance, for diseases like hepatitis and polio -- and that it is completely safe to mix Moderna and Pfizer vaccines.

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