Ontario pushes back first-dose completion date due to vaccine delays

COVID-19 vaccine delays have caused the Ontario government to push back the first dose completion date by five days.

The original goal was to administer the first doses of the COVID-19 vaccine to residents in long-term care, high-risk retirement, and First Nations elder care home by Friday, but this has been moved back to Feb. 10 due to reduced shipments of the vaccines.

“While it’s disappointing that vaccine supplies are being delayed, General Hillier and his team are doing a fantastic job of getting vaccines into the arms of our seniors and those who care for them, and now to remote First Nations communities” said Ontario Premier Doug Ford. “It’s clear we need to start production of COVID vaccines here in Canada, and I will continue pushing for that to begin as quickly as possible.   

The delays were caused by reduced allocations from the federal government. It was announced that Ontario’s allocation of the Moderna vaccine will be reduced by 18,200 doses in addition to a reduction of the Pfizer-BioNTech vaccine.

This resulted in no deliveries for the week of Jan. 25 and reduced shipment of 26,000 doses for the beginning of February. The province is also expecting approximately 310,000 doses to be delivered throughout February.

The province’s initial vaccination plans were to offer vaccination to all residents, staff, and essential caregivers working at long-term care and high-risk retirement homes. Due to delays, it is now prioritizing the vaccination of residents of long-term care, high-risk retirement, and First Nations elder care homes, as well as people in remote First Nations communities.

“Despite limited supplies from the federal government, our government has taken decisive action to provide protection to our most vulnerable seniors as quickly as possible,” said Ontario Deputy Premier and Minister of Health Chirstine Elliott. “Until everyone can receive the vaccine, it remains critical that Ontarians stay home and continue to follow public health measures to stop the spread and save lives.”

More info:

Ontario government news release