Ontario says some AstraZeneca COVID-19 vaccine doses delivered to Toronto pharmacies

Lawrence Kim
May 28, 2021

Depending on supply and appointment availability, the government says that dose intervals could be as short as 28 days-although this only becomes a possibility for those getting their first dose later in the summer.

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

According to health department sources, a total of 405,673 people have been scheduled for the second vaccine dose till date since the vaccination process started in February this year.

This will be followed by individuals who received their first dose between March 8 and April 18. Most residents are now waiting about four months between each dose, with some exceptions for those in long-term care, high-risk health-care workers and people with specific health conditions.

Reimer acknowledged that those who received Astra-Zeneca as their first dose are feeling left out of the second-dose campaign. New appointments will automatically replace those previously booked through the provincial system, officials confirmed.

It is not yet clear how big it would be, but the Ministry of Health said a week ago that Vietnam aims to secure 150 million doses of vaccines to immunize 75 percent of its population this year, and the cost is estimated at VND25.2 trillion ($1 billion).

Ontarians who received their first shot between May 10 and May 30, and those who cannot work from home and who have at-risk health conditions, can then book their second shot starting August 2.

Ontario is scrambling to use some 45,000 AstraZeneca shots by the end of May, with another 10,000 set to expire in June.

In a letter to her provincial and territorial counterparts, federal Health Minster Patty Hajdu encourages provinces that aren't able to get their AstraZeneca doses into people's arms by the end of the month to give them to provinces that can. The risk of blood clots is far less after the second shot.

After May 31 (and the expiry of the oldest doses of AstraZeneca the province now has on hand), people who received their first dose of the AZ vaccine will be eligible to receive their second 12 weeks after they had their first, starting with those who received their first dose on March 21. 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. It already has an agreement with AstraZeneca to secure enough doses for 60 million people.

Other reports by Click Lancashire

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