Published: Sat, May 29, 2021
Science | By

Ontario pharmacies race to avoid 'tragic' vaccine wastage

Ontario pharmacies race to avoid 'tragic' vaccine wastage

Ontario is now administering COVID-19 shots four months apart with some exceptions for people with specific health conditions and other groups. "It means that [there are] member states, people who are waiting to receive these vaccines, [and] are waiting to be protected from a very unsafe disease", he said.

"It means that we're getting closer to be able to do normal things with our family that we haven't been able to do for the last 15 months".

"We think it's important to ensure fair access to safe and effective vaccines in every country and region towards achieving universal health coverage", Chief Cabinet Secretary Katsunobu Kato told a news conference.

Healthcare workers from Switch Health administer the Pfizer/BioNTech COVID-19 vaccine at the Ontario Khalsa Darbar pop-up vaccination clinic at the Sikh Gurudwara in Mississauga, Ontario, Canada May 4, 2021.

"This applies to both those who booked their first doses through the provincial system and those who booked their first doses through Ottawa Public Health", said the city.

A single dose of the Oxford-AstraZeneca vaccine gives around 70% protection for at least 12 weeks. "As we do, we are reducing the time between your first and second dose". In recent weeks, health officials have said there now are some 20,000 doses available to be given as second shots.

But, he added that this goal will of course be contingent upon vaccine supply.

The health authority dispensed AstraZeneca as first doses to around 73,000 Saskatchewan residents.

The province reaffirmed its commitment to get as many youths vaccinated prior to the start of the 2021-2022 school year.

The province has also stated that the wait for the second dose could be further shortened in the future should the federal government confirm increased deliveries of the vaccine. "However, we know that cases are rising, and the clock is ticking so we urgently appeal to countries that have vaccinated their high-risk groups to speed up the dose-sharing to fully protect the most vulnerable people".

The move announced Friday is part of Ontario's plan to fully immunize all willing adults by the end of August thanks to a steady vaccine supply and the fact that 65 per cent of adults have had a first shot.

Ornge will also be launching Operation Remote Immunity 2.0 starting on May 31 to administer the COVID-19 vaccine in 31 remote communities throughout Northern Ontario.

The province has already accelerated second doses of the AstraZeneca vaccine to a 12-week interval based on the date of the first shot.

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.

If a province or territory can't use all its AstraZeneca doses before their expiration date, Hajdu urges them "to communicate with other provinces that may be well positioned to administer these doses within their system".

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