Ontario shortening interval between COVID-19 vaccine doses

Sarnia pharmacies starting to offer Pfizer and Moderna vaccine

Huyer says the second-dose plan will consider clinical reasons for shortening the interval between doses, supply and allocations across the province.

People who received their first dose after April 3 will be able to receive a second dose in early June, he said.

It is not yet clear how big it would be, but the Ministry of Health said a week ago that Vietnam aims to secure 150 million doses of vaccines to immunize 75 percent of its population this year, and the cost is estimated at VND25.2 trillion ($1 billion).

A letter by Quebec's immunization committee to public health director Dr. Horacio Arruda - which was viewed by The Canadian Press - said the AstraZeneca vaccine is 78 per cent effective if the second dose is given at least 12 weeks after the first.

After May 31 (and the expiry of the oldest doses of AstraZeneca the province now has on hand), people who received their first dose of the AZ vaccine will be eligible to receive their second 12 weeks after they had their first, starting with those who received their first dose on March 21.

Dr Qureshi described the feedback at the Expo Centre vaccination facility as very encouraging and said now 5,000 to 6,000 people were getting the vaccine jab daily and the department was prepared to handle a greater number of people as its vaccinating capacity was 25,000 to 30,000 persons daily.

Quebec has nearly 150,000 doses of the AstraZeneca vaccine in stock.

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"We've spoken to Pfizer, Moderna for vaccines, and both the companies have refused to sell vaccines directly to us". The deputy chief minister urged the Centre to approve Pfizer and Moderna on war footing.

There are some exceptions, mainly for people who are at high-risk of severe outcomes and where one shot of vaccine may not provide sufficient protection, as well as those who live or work in high-risk settings in terms of exposure.

While the government recommends that people who received AstraZeneca get a second dose of the same, it will allow people to opt for a different vaccine for their second shot, but they will have to wait longer between doses.

Second doses based on age will primarily be a factor for those 70 years old and up, unlike the strategy for first doses which was allocated based on age groups.

"We got contact details of all absent individuals and are reminding them for their second dose through text messages as well as by calling them".

She said the issue relates to the temperature of the vaccine doses that are being stored.

Over 100,000 people, who received their first dose of Covid-19 vaccine, have not reported back to the government-run adult vaccination centres for their second vaccine dose, leaving them very vulnerable to the disease, health department officials stated on Thursday. The two cities have been Quebec's most affected by the COVID-19 pandemic.

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