Ontario Covid-19 Vaccination update

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Pfizer and Moderna:

On January 19, the province was notified by the federal government of further reductions in Pfizer-BioNTech allocations, resulting in:

  • no allocations in the week of January 25
  • 26,325 doses in the week of February 1 (reduction of approx. 82%)
  • 27,300 doses in the week of February 8 (reduction of approx. 81%)
  • 130,650 doses in the week of February 15 (reduction of approx. 8%)
  • 155,025 doses in the week of February 22 (increase of approx. 9%)

No allocations have been provided beyond the week of February 22. On January 29, the province was advised by the Federal Government that the allocation of Moderna for the week of February 1 will be decreased by 18,200 doses (approx. 22% decrease). Ontario is expecting to receive 63,400 doses of Modernaby the end of the week of February 1.

Despite these challenges in supply, the province and vaccination sites have worked together to accelerate the vaccination of long-term care, high-risk retirement and First Nations elder care home residents and continue to administer second doses based on availability of supply provided by the federal government. As a result of recent delays in shipments, the province has updated its goal of visiting these settings to administer first doses by February 10.

The province is expecting approximately 310,000 doses to be delivered in the remaining weeks of February. Once sufficient doses are available, vaccinations will resume to provide first doses for staff and essential caregivers in the settings for the most vulnerable populations.

Long-term care homes update:

Residents, staff, essential caregivers (including family caregivers) and other employees in congregate living settings for seniors were identified as an initial priority due to: age, clinical risk/vulnerability and risk associated with living in a congregate setting.
Specific public health unit areas were identified and prioritized based on highest risk categorization including rates of disease transmission in the community. All LTC home residents will receive a first dose vaccine offer by February 10.

Second Dose Update:

To enable the implementation of the extended dosing interval, the Chief Medical Officer of Health has provided public health guidance under Section 2 of the Supporting Ontario’s Recovery Act, 2020 to clarify that all sites should schedule, or reschedule as required, all second dose appointments for the Pfizer-BioNTech COVID-19 vaccine 35 days after the administration of the first dose, and no later than 42 days, for all vaccine recipients other than residents of long-term care, high-risk retirement and First Nations elder care homes.

The dosing interval for residents should be maintained at 21-27 days.

The extended dosage interval is a direct response to the temporarily reduced vaccine availability from the federal government and uncertainty regarding the stability of supply in the near-term, as well as the current provincial epidemiology of the pandemic.

Next steps:

Ministry of Health continues working with vaccination sites to accelerate the vaccination of long-term care, high-risk retirement, and First Nations elder care residents across Ontario.

We are working with partners to plan next steps for when additional vaccine supply is restored to the province:

  • Remaining staff and essential caregivers in long-term care, high-risk retirement and First Nations elder care homes
  • Retirement homes and other congregate care for seniors (e.g., number of residents, staff, etc.)
  • Health care workers
  • First Nation, Inuit, and Métis populations
  • Adults in chronic home care

Ontario continues to be ready to administer doses – and expand the number of locations administering – as soon as we receive them from the federal government. The province has capacity to vaccinate nearly 40,000 people per day and is building capacity to triple or quadruple that capacity pending federal government supply, including municipally-run vaccination clinics.

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