In a week when Ontario will receive no shipments of COVIC vaccine, and with uncertainty about how much will be available in the first two weeks of February, Ontario is trying to get as many of the Long Term care population vaccinated as possible. The Ontario government is hopes to vaccinate most residents in long-term care, high-risk retirement, and First Nations elder care homes by a new target date of February 5, 2021. To protect access to second doses of the Pfizer-BioNTech vaccine for those who have already received their first dose, Ontario will maintain the maximum interval of 21-27 days for long-term care, retirement and First Nations elder care home resident groups and up to 42 days between the two doses for all other groups. These adjustments are being made following notification by the federal government of reductions in Pfizer-BioNTech vaccine shipments.
“Due to the delay in the next shipment of Pfizer vaccine doses, we are ensuring all available supplies are redirected to those who need them most: our residents in long-term care and retirement homes,” said Premier Ford. “I know this will mean that some people may have to reschedule their vaccine appointments, but it is critical that our most vulnerable seniors receive the protection they need as soon as possible.”
Shortage for at least three weeks
On January 19, 2021, the federal government notified the province of further reductions in Pfizer-BioNTech vaccine shipments. Ontario will not receive vaccine deliveries for the week of January 25, 2021 and will receive just over 26,000 doses for the first weeks of February. As of today, Ontario has not been provided its allocation for the weeks of February 8, 2021 and February 15, 2021, creating further uncertainty for the province’s vaccine rollout.To date, the first round of vaccinations have been completed, for those who are willing and eligible, in all long-term care homes in Toronto, Peel, York, Windsor-Essex, Durham, Halton, Hamilton, Niagara, Ottawa, and Simcoe-Muskoka regions.
Second dose intervals extended
To protect access to second doses of the Pfizer-BioNTech vaccine for those who have already received their first dose, Ontario will maintain the maximum interval of 21-27 days for long-term care, retirement and First Nations elder care home resident groups and up to 42 days between the two doses for all other groups. These intervals are aligned with guidance provided by the National Advisory Committee on Immunization (NACI). The intervals will be adjusted down to 21-27 days as quickly as possible, once vaccine supply permits.
As of January 25 at 10:00 a.m., over 287,000 vaccine doses have been administered across the province, including over 80,000 doses administered to long-term care staff and retirement home staff, over 114,000 doses administered to health care workers and over 68,000 doses administered to long-term care and retirement home residents.