Ontario to delay 2nd vaccine dose until 42 days due to Pfizer shipment delivery pause

The Ontario government is extending the window for the second dose of COVID-19 vaccinations in order to account for Pfizer-BioNtech shipment and delivery delays.

Long-term care residents, staff and essential caregivers who have received their first doses of the Pfizer vaccine will now receive their second dose within 21 to 27 days, Dr. David Williams, Ontario’s Chief Medical Officer of Health, said in a release. Everyone else will receive their second dose after 21 days and before 42 days.

They added the 28-day dose schedule for the Moderna vaccine will remain the same.

Read more: ‘Temporary delay’ chops Canada’s deliveries of Pfizer vaccine in half for four weeks

“Vaccination of residents, staff and essential caregivers of all long-term care homes and high-risk retirement homes in Ontario will continue, with the goal of having the first dose administered in all homes no later than mid-February,” the release said.

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“In the meantime, we are working to expand the number of vaccination sites to prepare for the demand for vaccination during Phase Two.”

The news comes one day after the federal government announced Pfizer would be reducing deliveries to all countries receiving its COVID-19 vaccine while it expands its European manufacturing facility.

Procurement Minister Anita Anand said the temporary delay would have no impact on Canada’s long-term vaccine target, which aims to have enough doses for everyone in Canada who wishes to be vaccinated by the end of September.

Click to play video 'Ottawa reassures Canadians after announcement of COVID-19 vaccine delay' 2:09 Ottawa reassures Canadians after announcement of COVID-19 vaccine delay

Ottawa reassures Canadians after announcement of COVID-19 vaccine delay

The change in supply is expected to last the next four weeks, and could see deliveries reduced by at least half for Canada in the coming weeks. The Ontario government said they were working with the Public Health Agency of Canada to determine “the exact timing and amount of these reductions.”

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These vaccine dose adjustments are in line with the National Advisory Committee on Immunization’s recommendations on the use of COVID-19 vaccines, which has indicated that some provinces may delay administering the second dose if there is a vaccine shortage, “preferably within 42 days of receipt of the first dose.”

As of Friday, the Ontario government said more than 189,000 vaccine doses have been administered in the province.

More to come. 

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