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Guelph’s COVID-19 vaccination plan changes due to Pfizer production delay

Click to play video: 'Mixed messages from Pfizer-BioNTech on vaccine reduction' Mixed messages from Pfizer-BioNTech on vaccine reduction
Pfizer-BioNTech is sending mixed messages about COVID-19 vaccine shipments to Canada, telling Ottawa there will be a delay in deliveries, despite the drug company ramping up its manufacturing capacity in Europe. David Akin reports. – Jan 16, 2021

Guelph’s public health unit says it is making changes to its COVID-19 vaccination program after Pfizer announced it was reducing the number of vaccines shipped to Canada.

That pause in production at the drug maker’s facility in Belgium is being felt in Ontario and will affect deliveries to Guelph for “a short period” of time, Wellington-Dufferin-Guelph Public Health said.

Read more: ‘Temporary delay’ chops Canada’s deliveries of Pfizer vaccine in half for four weeks

So far, Guelph has received almost 4,900 doses of the Pfizer vaccine but will not receive any more until the week of Feb. 1, when another 1,950 doses are scheduled to arrive.

“That’s our expectation at the moment,” spokesperson Danny Williamson said on Tuesday morning. “All of this is subject to change based on how things go with Pfizer.”

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The agency said changes to vaccination clinics and some rescheduling of appointments will be unavoidable. Those who are affected will be contacted directly by public health officials.

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“This delay is only temporary and will allow the manufacturer the ability to provide increased vaccine to Wellington-Dufferin-Guelph in the coming weeks,” said medical officer of health, Dr. Nicola Mercer.

“As an agency, our commitment remains, vaccinating as many people as quickly as possible according to the provincial schedule.”

The vaccines will still be prioritized for residents, staff and caregivers in long-term care and retirement homes.

Public health said that those who have already received a vaccine will be able to get their second dose but it will be “delayed slightly” for some.

Public health stressed that the delay will not affect these individuals developing immunity to the second dose.

Click to play video: 'Provinces grapple with Pfizer’s COVID-19 vaccine production reduction' Provinces grapple with Pfizer’s COVID-19 vaccine production reduction
Provinces grapple with Pfizer’s COVID-19 vaccine production reduction – Jan 18, 2021

The Ontario government has already announced it is extending the window for the second dose.

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Read more: Ontario to delay 2nd vaccine dose until up to 42 days due to Pfizer shipment delivery pause

Long-term care residents, staff and essential caregivers who have received their first doses of the Pfizer vaccine will now receive their second dose within 21 to 27 days, said Dr. David Williams, Ontario’s Chief Medical Officer of Health, in a release.

Everyone else will receive their second dose after 21 days but before 42 days.

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