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Ontario Premier Doug Ford said that delays in deliveries of the Pfizer-BioNTech and Moderna COVID-19 vaccines is “frustrating” and “disappointing.”
“The shipment delays with the Pfizer vaccine have been incredibly disappointing,” Ford said. “And to be told on Friday that we would receive 18,200 less doses of the Moderna vaccine, I can’t stress how frustrating that is.”
“We need a reliable sources of vaccines in this country as soon as possible.”
Ret. General Rick Hillier, Chair of the COVID-19 Vaccine Distribution Task Force, confirmed that on Tuesday or Wednesday Ontario is expecting to receive about 26,000 doses of the Pfizer-BioNTech COVID-19 vaccine, and the same amount next week.
Ontario is expecting about 310,000 doses to be delivered in the remaining weeks of February.
Hillier added that anyone who received a first dose of a COVID-19 vaccine will be guaranteed a second dose. The province is distributing Pfizer-BioNTech vaccines doses 35 days apart but Hillier said they will be extended to 42 days apart, if needed. The province is maintaining the maximum of administering doses between 21 and 27 days apart for long-term care, retirement and First Nations elder care home residents.
“With the Pfizer interruptions in supply, we’ve lost confidence in the supply chain,” Hillier said.
He added that with the Moderna doses arriving on a three-week schedule, the province has to ensure there are second doses available for those who have received the first dose of that vaccine.
Amid these delays, the provincial government plans to administer first doses of COVID-19 vaccines to residents in each long-term care, high-risk retirement and First Nations elder care home by Feb. 10. The initial goal was to complete these vaccinations by Feb. 5.