Monday, 18 October, 2021


Ontario offering option to shorten interval between COVID-19 vaccine doses

Japan is considering supplying a portion of its Astra Zeneca vaccine stock to Taiwan to help the island tackle a surge in coronavirus infections. | REUTERS Quebec shortens wait between doses of Oxford-AstraZeneca vaccine to eight weeks
Kristine Garrett | 29 May, 2021, 10:59

Ontario has already begun offering second doses of COVID-19 vaccines at a shortened interval to certain groups, including high-risk health care workers, individuals with certain health conditions and First Nations, Inuit and Métis individuals.

The provincial government announced on Friday it is shortening the intervals between doses as supply of the vaccine has become more reliable.

That has left some who received that vaccine as a first shot wondering what drug they'll receive as a second dose.

Officials in Ontario will provide an update on the province's COVID-19 vaccine rollout today.

"Second, the department also ensures that an individual gets his or her second dose from the same vaccine".

This will begin with individuals turning 80 and over in 2021, who will be eligible to book their second dose appointment expected to begin on May 31 at 8:00 a.m., followed by individuals aged 70 and over scheduled to begin the week of June 14.

"Accelerating second doses will provide more protection to Ontarians sooner", said Ontario Health Minister Christine Elliott.

Ideally, Ontarians will receive the same vaccine type for their second dose unless there are extraneous circumstances.

Reimer said that lower efficacy has been shown when second doses come prior to 12 weeks.

"Of course, this depends on the vaccine supply and the availability of appointments in your region", Ford added.

According to Quebec's public health institute, 57.1 per cent of residents have received at least one vaccine shot, while 5.9 per cent have received two doses or are considered adequately vaccinated after having tested positive for COVID-19 and received one dose.

While the shortened intervals were welcomed, critics noted that there's no provincial plan to contact recipients directly to move up second doses.

The federal government is urging the provinces not to waste the doses that are going to expire in a few days.

The province is planning a push to vaccinate the majority of youth aged 12 to 17 next month, with their second doses set for August, so that as many youth as possible will be fully vaccinated by the start of the school year.

Week of July 19: individuals who received their first dose between the week of April 19 to May 9, on a "first-in, first-out" basis.

Africa requires the additional vaccine doses as a matter of urgency amid supply crunch that has stalled inoculation targeting high-risk groups, Matshidiso Moeti, WHO regional director for Africa, said during a virtual press briefing hosted by WHO Regional Office for Africa in Brazzaville, the Republic of the Congo.

According to Dr. Janet DeMille, medical officer of health with the Thunder Bay District Health Unit, there are now no doses of AstraZeneca in the district, but she anticipates doses will be administered to allow the more than 2,000 individuals who received it as a first dose in the district to receive a second dose. For those folks, doctors and pharmacists have been instructed to work with patients who received their first doses but are not yet at that 12-week period.

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