By: Laura Steiner
Halton’s COVID-19 vaccination efforts have hit a roadblock. The clinic in Oakville Trafalgar Memorial Hospital (OTMH) has been forced to close due to a shortage in the Pfizer vaccine.
The Region was into phase one of vaccine distribution which includes staff, and residents of long-term care homes as well as first responders. Carly contacted Milton Reporter saying she’d received a voicemail informing her than an appointment booked for this weekend was cancelled due to a lack of supply. She has already received her first dose. The first dose carries with 92% protection.
Ontario Public Health Units (PHU) are reliant on provincial vaccine supplies. Ontario is currently advising that second doses could be administered 21-42 days after the first dose. The National Advisory Committee on Immunization (NACI) advises between 21 and 28 days. The second dose will increase that to 95%.
“These decisions are based on the Province’s response to the Pfizer-BioNTech delay, and plans to accelerate vaccinations for long-term care and high risk retirement home residents,” Halton Chief Medical Officer of Health Dr. Hamidah Meghani said. Late last month, Pfizer announced they would need to retool their factory in Belgium in order to increase production resulting in vaccine shortages worldwide. Canada didn’t receive any shipments last week.
COVID-19 vaccines are approved by Health Canada before being allocated to the provinces. The provinces then distribute the vaccine to public health units. Phase one of Ontario’s program saw first responders, and frontline workers in hospitals, and at Long-Term Care homes. For more information on the region’s vaccine plans visit their website