Alberta’s top doctor is recommending those aged 12 to 29 to avoid the Moderna COVID-19 vaccine due to a rare side effect.
Dr. Deena Hinshaw made the comments Tuesday afternoon at a regularly scheduled COVID-19 briefing.
“At this point it seems clear that while still low, the risk of Myocarditis following Moderna vaccine is higher than following Pfizer vaccine in those who are 12 to 29,” said Hinshaw.
“As I mentioned, this risk of this outcome is still very small,” she added.
Approximately one case of Myocarditis is found per 7,000 doses in 12 to 17 year old males with Pfizer COVID-19 vaccines, and one case per 2,000 second doses with Moderna COVID-19 vaccines.
Myocarditis is the inflammation of the heart muscle, according to the CDC.
“Risks following vaccination are even lower for those aged 18 to 29, and it’s also important to remember that Myocarditis after COVID-19 infection is more common than after any vaccine,” added Hinshaw.
As a precaution, the province will now advise anyone between the ages of 12 and 29 receive the Pfizer vaccine rather than Moderna.
Hinshaw added that for those in that age group who have already received a Moderna vaccine that there is no ongoing risk, with Myocarditis happening usually within the first one to two weeks and after that there is no risk.
Hinshaw says you can still request a Moderna vaccine, however it’s suggested anyone in that age group receive Pfizer.
Hinshw says the Alberta Advisory Committee on Immunizations made the recommendation.