City officials adjusting vaccine rollout following news of zero shipments next week
OTTAWA -- With news that Canada will receive zero doses of the Pfizer-BioNTech COVID-19 vaccine next week, City of Ottawa officials will be working to determine how the remaining doses in Ottawa will be administered.
Sources tell CTV News that Ottawa received roughly 4,000 doses of the Pfizer-BioNTech vaccine on Tuesday, instead of the usual shipment of approximately 5,600. That would put Ottawa at just over 26,000 total doses received.
An official update is expected Wednesday afternoon.
In a statement to CTV News, the Ottawa Hospital says staff are evaluating the situation.
"We are working closely with the Province of Ontario and Ottawa Public Health to plan how the remaining second doses will be scheduled," the statement said. "We will reschedule appointments for second doses at the vaccine clinic, with the goal of ensuring that those who need their second dose receive it within the federal and provincial guidelines and directions."
On Monday, Medical Officer of Health Dr. Vera Etches and Emergency and Protective Services General Manager Anthony Di Monte said in a memo that the City would be prioritizing second doses for those who had received their first.
"The supply for this week will be used to administer second doses to ensure that those individuals who have received the first round of vaccinations become immunized, as directed by the Province," the memo said.
Ontario Premier Doug Ford appealed to incoming U.S. President Joe Biden on Tuesday to deliver one million doses to Ontario from a nearby Michigan plant.
"Give your great neighbour that stands shoulder to shoulder with you a million vaccines to keep us going," he said.
Despite the setback next week, Prime Minister Justin Trudeau stressed the situation with Pfizer is temporary and the country is still on schedule to have vaccines available to every Canadian who wants one by September.
According to Ontario's vaccination plan, during Phase 2 between March and July, approximately 8.5 million people in Ontario can expect to receive the vaccine, based on the availability of doses.
The province is expecting five million doses per month in April, May, and June.
In the second phase, the government will prioritize:
- older adults, beginning with those 80 and older and decreasing in five-year increments over the course of the vaccine rollout (i.e. to 75+, then to 70+, then to 65+, etc.);
- people who live and work in high-risk congregate settings (for example, shelters, community living);
- frontline essential workers, including first responders, teachers and other education staff and the food processing industry;
- individuals with high-risk chronic conditions and their caregivers; and
- other populations and communities facing barriers related to the determinants of health across Ontario who are at greater COVID-19 risk
The third phase of Ontario's plan is set to begin in August and will deliver vaccines to any remaining Ontarians in the general population who wish to be vaccinated.