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‘New direction’ from Ontario puts COVID-19 vaccinations in Haldimand Norfolk on hold

AP Photo/Daniel Cole

A provincial order has put some COVID-19 vaccinations in Haldimand Norfolk on hold for up to four months.

On Monday, the health unit (HNHU) used social media to reveal that a “new direction” from the Ford government has changed the region’s COVID-19 vaccination schedule.

The order affects some 6,000 residents who have had a first shot of the Pfizer-BioNTech dose.

Read more: Senior Canadian scientists question government plans to delay 2nd dose of COVID-19 vaccine

The mandate is tied to the province’s decision to extend the period between the first and second doses of vaccines as per a recommendation from Canada’s National Advisory Committee on Immunization (NACI).

The committee says recent studies support evidence that a longer period between shots can boost antibodies to a higher level for many of the current vaccines.

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The province told Global News in a March 3 statement that the move was to allow Ontario to use remaining vaccine supplies to get shots “into more arms as quickly as possible.”

“Those who have received their first dose of COVID-19 vaccine and are scheduled to receive the second dose will not receive the dose as currently scheduled,” HNHU said in a release on Monday.

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Public health is asking residents to refrain from reaching out about appointments. HNHU said it will be contacting eligible candidates about a new vaccination date.

Canada’s public health agency, responsible for acquiring and delivering vaccines to the provinces, is still experiencing slowdowns with smaller-than-normal shipments.

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Read more: Supply still slowing Hamilton, Niagara’s COVID-19 vaccination plans

Only 445,000 Pfizer-BioNTech doses will arrive in Canada over the next seven days while bi-weekly deliveries of the Moderna vaccine will not resume until next week.

Shots of the Oxford-AstraZeneca vaccine and Johnson & Johnson’s one-dose inoculation are not expected until April.

The HNHU says close to 13,000 doses of COVID-19 vaccines have been administered as of March 16. Over 1,600 residents have completed their series of two shots.

Haldimand Norfolk reported 10 new coronavirus cases on Tuesday with a slight increase in active cases by eight to 49 as of March 16.

Both counties have accounted for 1,513 total COVID-19 cases amid the pandemic and 39 deaths.

 

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