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Peel Region launching 'Pfizer Fridays' to reach those unwilling to mix vaccines

Last Updated Jul 15, 2021 at 12:33 pm EDT

A health-care worker prepares a dose of the Pfizer-BioNTech COVID-19 vaccine at a UHN COVID-19 vaccine clinic in Toronto on Thursday, January 7, 2021. THE CANADIAN PRESS/Nathan Denette

Peel Region health officials are trying to reach people who are unwilling to mix-and-match COVID-19 vaccine doses with a new initiative called ‘Pfizer Fridays.’

“As supply improves, we are going to start offering special dose days to ensure that those who are delaying protection on the basis of brand and not science can access protection,” said Dr. Lawrence Loh, Medical Officer of Health in Peel Region.

The event will see all mass vaccination clinics in Peel offering Pfizer vaccines on certain Fridays, beginning on July 16.

The push comes amid mass confusion over mixing doses. The increasing hesitancy has been fueled by comments from an official at the World Health Organization earlier this week, that were largely taken out of context.

Canadian officials continue to insist that it is safe to mix Pfizer and Moderna COVID-19 vaccines, as the products use the same mRNA technology.

“I want to be very clear that this is supporting brand as opposed to science,” said Loh. “Otherwise I encourage everyone to remember that the products are equivalent, and I thank you for getting two doses of any product as quickly as possible.”

The ‘Pfizer Friday’ shots will be available by appointment only. Bookings can be made through the province’s online portal.

Nearly two million vaccine doses have been administered in Peel, with 79 per cent of eligible residents having received at least one dose, while 54 per cent are fully vaccinated.

The region will continue to host special dose days when supply permits.