The City of Ottawa says it will use Moderna COVID-19 vaccines at community clinics this week instead of Pfizer in light of provincial shipment delays.
Ontario told Ottawa that a shipment of Pfizer vaccines that had been expected to arrive on Monday will be delayed, according to a statement from the city.
The federal government has said a shipment of 2.4 million Pfizer vaccines will arrive mid-week.
To honour vaccine appointments made at community clinics, Ottawa’s vaccine task force will pivot to use Moderna mRNA vaccines instead.
The city has received an influx of Moderna doses this past week, including a “strategic allocation” of 33,500 doses from the province over the weekend and a regular shipment of 27,000 doses on Friday. An additional 25,000 Moderna doses went to pharmacies.
Moderna and Pfizer vaccines are interchangeable, according to the National Advisory Community on Immunization’s latest guidelines.
Ottawa Public Health has urged residents to accept whichever second dose is offered to them. Each resident with an appointment booked this week will be aware of which type of vaccine they are set to receive but cannot request a switch, the city says.
The Pfizer vaccine is being reserved for teens aged 12 to 17, in keeping with Health Canada approvals.
Ottawa opened up five new COVID-19 vaccination clinics on Monday, expecting to hit city-wide capacity to administer 100,000 doses per week.