The province expects to receive weekly shipments of more than 785,000 doses of Pfizer-BioNTech in May and more than 938,000 doses per week next month.
Health Minister Christine Elliott said Monday that the additional supply could allow the province to shorten the current four-month interval between the first and second injections.
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“We expect that with the much larger amounts of Pfizer vaccine that we receive throughout May, we may well be able to shorten the time frame for people to receive their second doses,” said Elliott.
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If that happens, people will be contacted to arrange a new time for their second appointment, the health minister said, adding that the new interval would be closer to the original schedule for vaccinations.
Pfizer recommends an interval of 21 days between its two intakes, while Moderna recommends four weeks and Oxford-AstraZeneca advises between four and twelve weeks.
Ontario extended the interval between doses earlier this year during a period of low vaccine supply in Canada, making some exceptions for some at-risk people.
Canadian health officials recommend 4-month interval between 1st and 2nd dose of COVID-19
While larger shipments from Pfizer-BioNTech are expected in the coming weeks, inbound supplies of other approved vaccines are less abundant and less certain.
The province is planning 388,000 doses of Moderna vaccine during the week of May 10, and additional supply to Oxford-AstraZeneca in the coming months has yet to be confirmed.
Ontario officials confirmed Monday that the province has asked a federal vaccine advisory group to investigate the possibility of mixing doses between the first and second vaccines.
Dr. Barbara Yaffe, Ontario’s deputy medical officer of health, said Monday that the province has asked the National Advisory Committee on Immunization to make recommendations on the possibility of mixing the vaccines.
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She said the province is waiting to see the results of a UK study on the effectiveness of the mixed vaccine dose approach, but the results are not expected until next month. She said Ontario had requested recommendations from the Canadian body by mid-May.
“Probably (NACI) will recommend that it is safe and effective to use a different vaccine for the second vaccine, if you can’t get the same vaccine you got for the first,” Yaffe said Monday.
Dr David Williams, Ontario’s top doctor, said the priority was to protect as many people as possible from COVID-19 as the province battles a deadly third wave of infections that has set in hard straining the health care system with critically ill patients.
“The key is to get as many people vaccinated as quickly as possible,” said Williams.
“We need to reduce these numbers.”
Ontario is sending half of its vaccine supply to designated COVID-19 hotspots over the next two weeks, and the government has said it hopes to allow all adults in the province to reserve vaccines from here. the end of the month.
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