Ontario Premier Doug Ford was fuming at his daily news conference when asked about the recently-announced Pfizer vaccine shortage, and is changing the province’s COVID-19 vaccination plan to ensure the most vulnerable are given their necessary second dose.
Pfizer has announced its decision to slow down production resulting in reduced vaccine deliveries to Canada over the next month. In fact Canada will receive no vaccine next week and smaller than expected shipments for a few weeks thereafter,
Under questioning by reporters it appears the government will try to mee the shortage by not giving second doses to healthier recipients and instead use what’s left to get second dozes into the most frail residents of Nursing and long Term care Homes. General Rick Hillier said, “their immune systems are not as strong and we need to get them vaccinated.
The Pfizer vaccine is administered in two doses. After the first dose is given, the patient gets their booster shot 21 to 27 days later in order to complete the vaccination. Now plans are to extend the timing of the second shot to up to 42 days for those who are healthy enough to wait.
The province says it has administered over 224,000 doses across Ontario so far. Only 25,000 of those people have had their second shot and are fully vaccinated.
Ford asks Biden to step in
Ford told reporters he is not blaming Prime Minister Trudeau but nonetheless offered him some advice on how to deal with Pfizer.
Health officials say the province will now “protect” the second doses of the Pfizer vaccine through “careful week-by-week” allocation and by extending the length of time people are going to have to wait to get the second dose.
Ford said the federal government reported on Tuesday that the country will not get any new vaccines from Pfizer next week and will get very limited amounts in the coming weeks.
While all long-term care homes in Ontario’s COVID-19 hot spots have received their first dose of the COVID-19 vaccine, all of the first new doses that do come in will be administered in long-term care and high-risk retirement homes in other regions, as well as northern fly-in First Nation communities.