Ontario In ‘Critical’ Time For Using Moderna Injections, Pharmacist Group Says – .

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Ontario In ‘Critical’ Time For Using Moderna Injections, Pharmacist Group Says – .


TORONTO – Ontario pharmacists say thousands of doses of the Moderna COVID-19 vaccine will expire soon, and they are warning that the supply could be wasted if people do not show up for the vaccine.

The CEO of the Ontario Pharmacists Association said some Moderna injections were due to expire in early August and that generally supplies that arrive in bulk must be used up within 30 days.

Justin Bates said a slowdown in vaccine deployment in Ontario and the public’s preference for the Pfizer-BioNTech vaccine has made it difficult for pharmacists to use Moderna doses.

“It’s a horrible situation for them (pharmacists),” Bates said in an interview. “They have done everything they can to make sure there is no waste, but yet they come to this place where they maybe need to, or already have. “

Bates’ comments came after a health unit covering London, Ont. Asked the public to roll up their sleeves for Moderna vaccines before more than 21,300 unallocated doses expire in two weeks.

Pharmacies are now ordering vaccines on the basis of scheduled appointments to reduce possible waste, Bates said, but they must still use the supply they have.

“The next few weeks (are) critical,” he said. “It’s complicated because you have a number of scenarios that could waste the vaccine. “

In addition to the expiration issue, Bates said it was also difficult for pharmacists to use the larger amounts of doses in Moderna vials currently supplied in Ontario.

The vials contain enough vaccine for 14 injections and once a vial is punctured all of the vaccine should be used within 12 hours. If a patient cancels their appointment for a Moderna injection, they cannot be filled by the end of the day, Bates said.

The problem is not limited to pharmacies.

The Middlesex-London Health Unit recently called for residents to take the Moderna vaccine, as it had thawed more than 21,300 doses of the vaccine that were due to be used by August 12.

In a statement, the health unit said vaccinations had declined in previous weeks and thawed injections were “in excess” of appointments already allotted for second doses.

“We don’t want this vaccine to be wasted, so we are asking people who are not fully vaccinated to join us in the fight against COVID-19 and consider receiving a first or second dose of Moderna,” Dr Chris Mackie, the area’s top doctor, said earlier this week. The health unit also pointed out that Pfizer-BioNTech and Moderna injections can be used safely as the first and second doses.

A spokeswoman for the Minister of Health said the province was working with the Middlesex-London Health Unit to help reallocate doses to areas in need.

“Public health units are working to minimize vaccine wastage and encourage walk-in visits where appropriate,” said Alexandra Hilkene.

“We are also working with federal partners to explore possibilities for vaccine donations in the future. “

Bates said his organization wanted a province-wide program to help redirect doses at risk of being wasted to another site more likely to use them, although he noted the process would be complicated.

This report by The Canadian Press was first published on August 1, 2021.

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