So far, most provinces have indicated they are considering speeding up seconds, and a few have already announced concrete plans.
“Everything is going in the right direction,” Dr. Howard Njoo, Canada’s deputy chief public health officer, said at a press conference Thursday.
While guidelines from the National Advisory Committee on Immunization (NACI) say doses can be spaced up to 16 weeks apart, provinces that can give a second injection earlier should do so – and some already are, a- he declared.
Canada “on track” to shorten 16-week interval between COVID-19 vaccine doses, says Njoo
The story continues under the ad
Increasing second doses when possible is a good thing, said Dr Angie Rasmussen, an affiliate virologist at the Georgetown Center for Global Health Science and Security.
“I agree that some protection is better than no protection. So it makes sense to stretch supplies by delaying the second dose in the event of a supply shortage, which is the case for Canada, ”she told Global News.
Canadian health official says he doesn’t expect second dose interval to decrease further
But, she added, if there is enough supply, then moving the second doses to a shorter interval is “the wise thing to do.”
Nationally, nearly 54 percent of Canadians have received at least one first dose of the vaccine, according to the covid19tracker.ca website, although this varies from province to province.
Here’s what each province is planning so far for their second doses.
Provincial health worker Dr Bonnie Henry said on Thursday the province would move the interval between the first and second dose from 16 weeks to eight weeks.
“Now that we have a steady supply in British Columbia, the number of people who are now receiving their first dose is high enough that we can now expedite the delivery of the second doses,” she said.
Henry said rolling out second doses would prioritize age and the most vulnerable, starting with those 70 and over. She said the province would start sending out bookings to these people starting Thursday.
Second doses of COVID-19 vaccine to be sooner than expected, but not ‘too soon’: BC’s top doctor
The province plans to offer a second dose of the vaccine to everyone by the end of August, Henry said.
Although Alberta has yet to announce specific plans to increase second-dose doses in the general population, earlier this month Dr Deena Hinshaw, the province’s chief medical officer, said it was was likely.
Albertans ‘very likely’ to receive second dose of COVID-19 vaccine before 16 weeks
Alberta still offers the first doses to the population, including children 12 and older, she said.
“Once we’re done offering all of these people, of course we’ll go to the second doses, so it’s very likely that the interval will be less than four months. “
Saskatchewan has the clearest schedule of the provinces for its second dose deployment.
Groups become eligible based on their age or the date of their first dose, with people who are older or who received their first dose a long time ago on the front line. Week after week, new groups become eligible, by age and date of initial vaccination.
COVID-19: Eligibility of vaccine reservations for second dose increases in Saskatchewan
By June 21, people aged 45 and over, or who received their first dose on or before April 15, can receive their second dose. At the end of June, eligibility will only depend on the day people received their vaccine.
Some vulnerable populations may also receive their second dose earlier.
Officials on Wednesday announced that anyone who received their first dose of COVID-19 vaccine on or before March 29 can make an appointment for their second dose.
Eligibility for second dose increases in Manitoba
Premier Brian Pallister on Thursday urged all Manitobans who had a dose to reserve their second dose as soon as they were eligible, adding that he hoped to make his second appointment in a few days.
Some high-risk groups are already eligible to reserve second doses.
Ontario plans to start second dose appointments next week for people 80 and older, the York Region medical officer of health said Thursday. The provincial government is expected to announce more details of its plan to roll out the second dose on Friday.
Currently, people who received a first dose of AstraZeneca vaccine between March 10 and March 19 can book their second injection of AstraZeneca at certain pharmacies and primary care centers.
Quebec is increasing the second dose for people over 45 who have received a first dose of the AstraZeneca vaccine, the province’s health minister announced on Thursday. The interval between doses will be shortened to eight weeks compared to the previous 16 weeks.
Quebecers can receive their second injection of AstraZeneca at provincial walk-in vaccination clinics as of May 29. If they choose to have a different vaccine for their booster injection, the interval remains 16 weeks.
Quebec shortens the interval between doses of AstraZeneca’s COVID-19 vaccine to 8 weeks
The province has yet to announce details of the shortening of the interval between doses for people who have received other vaccines, although Health Minister Christian Dube said earlier this week that the government was hoping that everyone can be fully immunized by August 31.
“With the additional vaccine that we have from Pfizer in June and July, we will be able to speed up these appointments,” Dube said Tuesday.
Further details are expected next week.
New Brunswick is currently three weeks ahead of schedule for a first dose to residents, according to the provincial health minister.
“We planned to be ready by the end of June and be done with the first few doses, but we will be finished the week of June 7. can have them, ”Health Minister Dorothy Shephard said on Wednesday.
NB will no longer require self-isolation for travelers to Atlantic Canada, with the exception of NS. as of June 7
Detailed plans for the distribution of second doses are being updated and have yet to be approved by the cabinet in the coming weeks, she said.
“The last thing we want are vaccines in the refrigerators. So the vaccine is going to keep coming in and we are going to make sure it gets into the guns.
Nova Scotia said on Tuesday it would speed up the second doses as well, by about two to four weeks. People who need their second dose as soon as possible will be able to reschedule their appointment in early June, and second appointment notices will be issued over the following weeks in the same order as the first dose appointments.
Nova Scotia to Speed Up Second Doses of COVID-19 Vaccine as 54 New Cases Announced
The province expects to be able to achieve immunity for the population – 85% of the eligible population vaccinated – by early September, rather than at the end of October as originally planned.
All first doses are expected to be administered by the end of June and all Islanders should be able to receive their second dose by September, Premier Dennis King said Thursday.
“The second dose appointments have already started to be booked for many people in the clinics and they have actually been moved from 16 weeks to 12 to 14 weeks after their first doses,” said Heather Morrison, head of health. Some people are already getting appointments for the second dose for June, she said.
Prince Edward Island to welcome Atlantic Canadians with at least 1 dose of COVID-19 vaccine on June 27
Currently, Newfoundland and Labrador has no plans to shorten the interval between vaccine doses, according to a spokesperson for the Department of Health and Community Services. The second doses will be administered no later than four months after the first.
The Yukon has scheduled first and second dose clinics nationwide, with second dose administration already underway for residents 18 years of age and older.
Appointments for the second dose are already underway in the Northwest Territories, including walk-in clinics.
About 57% of adults in Nunavut have already received their second dose of the vaccine and immunization appointments are underway, according to the government website.
– With files from Julia Wong, Kalina Laframboise, Alex Cooke, Jon Azpiri, Abigail Bimman, Kamil Karamali and the Canadian Press
Show link »
© 2021 Global News, a division of Corus Entertainment Inc.