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Pfizer COVID-19 vaccine supply to slow down over next weeks: Manitoba government

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Pfizer supply slowing down – Jun 17, 2021

The province says the supply of the Pfizer COVID-19 vaccine will slow down over the next several weeks — leaving some parents to wonder what to do when their teens qualify for a second dose.

The only COVID-19 vaccine approved for people under the age of 18 in Canada is the Pfizer vaccine.

The province sent out a series of tweets Thursday explaining the situation.

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“Manitoba has very recently been advised that Pfizer shipments will slow down into early July. Very few Pfizer appointments are expected to be available in the weeks ahead,” the province said.

“The good news is that there are thousands of first and second-dose Moderna appointments available next week and in the future.”

The province advised those 18-plus to book an appointment for a second dose of Moderna when eligible, but did not address the question of teens under 18 who will soon qualify. Global News has reached out for comment.

Dr. Joss Reimer, the head of province’s Vaccine Task Force, told 680 CJOB that the province may have to cancel some appointments in July as the slowdown will begin in July 5.

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“It’s a bit of a waiting game on our end,” she said, adding that anyone booked in June will not be impacted.

She said if people are worried about their Pfizer vaccine appointment being cancelled, they can switch to Moderna.

“My advice is … rebook for one of the Moderna appointments that we have this week, next week and the week after,” she said.

Read more: Manitoba won’t meet COVID 19 vaccine milestone due to delayed shipments, officials say

Vaccine Task Force logistics lead Johanu Botha told media Thursday that projections still have 80-90,000 doses of Pfizer coming to Manitoba through the end of June.

But a July 5 shipment of the same size has since been reduced to roughly 33,000 shots.

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Botha still expects Manitoba to receive all of the previously allocated Pfizer shots in July, so following shipments could end up being larger than projected.

Over the past few weeks Reimer has said repeatedly that the Pfizer and Moderna vaccines are essentially interchangeable.

Aisha Gebho told Global News Thursday she was worried about being able to book a second dose for her son, who is 15.

“I know we can’t do anything about it if Health Canada hasn’t said it’s OK to go to get a Moderna vaccine instead,” she said.

“I would hope then that the province would save the Pfizer vaccines for kids to get vaccinated.”

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Botha said in the coming days, there may possibly be a prioritization of Pfizer vaccines for teens, but it was too early to say Thursday afternoon.

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