COVID-19: Peterborough supply of Pfizer vaccine to double by mid-May; bookings shift to Ontario call centre

Peterborough Public Health expects its supply of Pfizer COVID-19 vaccine to double by May 17. Bill Barker / Global News

Peterborough Public Health says its supply of the Pfizer COVID-19 vaccine will “double” by mid-May.

During Friday’s briefing on the pandemic, Dr. Rosana Salvaterra said the region’s vaccine supply will ramp up with the target date of the week of May 17 — as Pfizer increases its overall vaccine supply for Ontario.

“Everything changes May 17 — that’s when our Pfizer supply doubles,” she said. “Locally, we will start to see the large shipments of vaccine the week of May 17.”

The additional vaccines could mean the capacity to immunize “at least 1,000 people per day” in Peterborough, she said.

Starting Friday, people aged 55 and over can begin booking an appointment. Next week, eligibility will expand to those 50 and over. During the week of May 10, people aged 40 and over will be able to book an appointment.

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“By the week of May 24, all adults age 18 years and over can start to book their appointment,” she said.

Starting Monday, May 3, eligible residents in the health unit’s jurisdiction (Peterborough, Peterborough County, Hiawatha First Nation, Curve Lake First Nation), can start calling the provincial call centre at 1-833-943-3900 to book COVID-19 vaccination appointments as the local call centre winds down.

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The centre is open daily from 8 a.m. to 8 p.m. The online booking portal also remains available for appointments.

“It will be even easier to book an appointment,” she said. “Especially as we increase the number of available appointments as our vaccine supply improves.”

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There are approximately 3,300 appointments expected to be available later in May for eligible residents.

As of Thursday, 56,409 people have received a COVID-19 vaccine dose which includes 52,143 people with at least one dose and 4,211 with both a first and second dose.

Currently, due to a low supply of COVID-19 vaccine, the health unit is only running four clinics a week at the Evinrude Centre in Peterborough. Area pharmacies also have “long wait-lists,” she noted.

“They (pharmacies) have asked us to let residents know [that] if you haven’t heard from them, they don’t have any appointments to offer.”

She also asked people to be patient if they have received the first dose of the AstraZeneca vaccine and are awaiting their second dose. The provincial COVAX database keeps track of who has received their first dose and will provide a notification when a person is due for their second dose, which is also dependent on supply.

“Sixteen weeks in a vaccine rollout is a lifetime,” she said. “We were assured by the province there will be second doses when they are due. Everyone should relax and try not to worry about second doses. We have your backs. We (public health, hospital, primary care and pharmacies) will be planning with the province and we will have the capacity to deliver.”

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She also thanked the City of Peterborough for its emergency information line during the pandemic and for the staff of the city and Peterborough County who since March 15 have helped “thousands” of residents book their vaccination appointments.

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