Only Moderna vaccines available at Ottawa clinics this week due to delayed Pfizer delivery
Michelle Chester, director of employee health services at Northwell Health, holds a bottle containing the Moderna COVID-19 vaccine at Northwell Health's Long Island Jewish Valley Stream hospital in Valley Stream, N.Y., on Monday, Dec. 21, 2020. (Eduardo Munoz/Pool via AP)
OTTAWA -- Ottawa adults 18 and older will receive the Moderna COVID-19 vaccine at Ottawa's community clinics this week, due to a delay in the Pfizer shipment.
The Ontario government told CTV News Ottawa Saturday evening that this week's shipment of Pfizer-BioNTech COVID-19 vaccines will be delayed by two to three days.
"We have a large supply of Moderna doses which will be used to supplement the delayed Pfizer doses," said a statement from a spokesperson for Health Minister Christine Elliott.
Ottawa's Pfizer shipment was scheduled to arrive on Monday.
"To ensure that vaccine appointments are honoured at immunization clinics over the coming week, the city and Ottawa Public Health will administer the Moderna mRNA vaccine as it is interchangeable with Pfizer," said a statement from the city of Ottawa Sunday evening.
Beginning Sunday, individuals 18 and older who have an appointment booked at one of the city-run immunization clinics will receive a Moderna vaccine. The city says there will be "no opportunity" to request or switch to another type of vaccine.
"Interchanging vaccines is safe and effective. The priority is to receive two doses of a vaccine to complete the series and be fully protected," said the city.
The Pfizer vaccines still in Ottawa's freezers will be reserved for youths 12 to 17. Pfizer is the only COVID-19 vaccine approved in Canada for youth aged 12 to 17.
The Kingston, Frontenac, Lennox and Addington Health Unit announced Sunday that as a result of the delivery delay, any youth aged 12 to 17 that have a clinic appointment on Tuesday, Wednesday and possibly Thursday will be contacted by staff and rebooked to another clinic later in the week.
The director of Ontario's COVID-19 Science Advisory Board told CTV News at Six you shouldn't worry about mixing vaccines.
"It's absolutely safe and it’s absolutely effective, and it’s critical to get these doses," said Dr. Peter Juni.
Juni said he received the results of a preliminary analysis on the Moderna COVID-19 vaccine on Sunday.
"Moderna is at least as effective against the delta variant as Pfizer. This is absolutely OK, forget about any concerns - it’s safe, it’s effective, go for it."
TAKE THE FIRST DOSE AVAILABLE, OPH SAYS
Ottawa Public Health is encouraging residents to take the first COVID-19 vaccine available for your second dose to provide earlier two-dose protection.
Last week, the health unit noted the National Advisory Committee on Immunization updated it recommendation on the interchangeability of COVID-19 vaccines used in Canada.
"This means that you could receive one vaccine for your first dose and a different vaccine for your second dose to complete your COVID-19 vaccine series," said a statement from Ottawa Public Health.
"Interchanging vaccines is safe and effective and is not a new practice. Similar vaccines from different manufacturers are used when vaccine supply or public health programs change. Different vaccine products have been used to complete a vaccine series for influenza, hepatitis A, and others."
Ottawa Public Health adds, "Moderna and Pfizer have very similar effectiveness and side effects."
NEW COMMUNITY CLINICS OPENING
On Monday, Ottawa is opening five new community clinics as more COVID-19 vaccines arrive.
On Friday, the city announced an additional 25,000 doses of the Moderna vaccine and a "strategic allotment" of 33,500 Moderna doses were being sent to Ottawa. The federal government is expected to receive nine million doses of the Moderna vaccine by the end of June.
The five new COVID-19 community clinics are:
- Canadian Tire Centre – 1000 Palladium Drive
- University of Ottawa – Minto Sports Complex – King Edward Avenue
- Horticulture Building at Lansdowne Park
- Canterbury Recreation Complex – 2185 Arch Street
- Nepean Sportsplex – Curling Rink – 1701 Woodroffe Avenue