Web Content Writer, CP24
Premier Doug Ford’s office said they should be prepared for delays in two upcoming deliveries of the Oxford-AstraZeneca vaccine, which is a potential catch in the uptake of gunshots, just as Ontario is making the vaccine available to younger residents. p>
The first shipment was due to arrive today and is estimated to contain 389,000 cans. The second shipment was scheduled for May 3rd and should contain an estimated 194,500 cans.
In a statement to CTV News Toronto Monday afternoon, a Ford spokesman said Ontario had now been informed that it “should be prepared for both broadcasts to be delayed until the end of May.
It is unclear what effect this will have on the availability of appointments at the 1,400+ pharmacies that dispense AstraZeneca, although interruption in supply is currently going to be problematic as a decision is made to increase the age eligibility for the AstraZeneca vaccine from 55 to 40 to increase tomorrow morning.
“If we try to expand our AstraZeneca rollout to younger age groups and more pharmacies, delays in vaccine delivery for Ontario right now would be devastating as we fight the third wave of this pandemic,” said a statement from Ford’s office. “As we seek to validate this information, the Prime Minister is stepping up efforts to secure more vaccines by reaching out directly to our international allies for available supplies.”
Ontario has been hit by a number of late vaccine shipments in the past few weeks, including several due to a backlog in quality assurance at Moderna’s manufacturing facilities.
In the statement released on Monday, Ford’s office said the prime minister had already spoken to Canada’s ambassador to Denmark and the United States Consulate General about getting more vaccine doses and that he should also speak to the EU ambassador to Canada and High Commissioner from India later today.
However, it remains unclear whether Ford’s efforts to skip normal diplomatic channels and reach foreign governments themselves will be successful.
“The Prime Minister will continue to do everything possible to get more vaccines sooner so that we can put this pandemic behind us once and for all,” said the statement from his office.
The head of the Ontario Pharmacists Association urges the Ford government to make the vaccine available to even more Ontarians.
The vaccine was only available to adults 55 years of age and older on the recommendation of the National Advisory Committee on Immunization (NACI). However, Health Minister Christine Elliott announced over the weekend that people aged 40 and over can book appointments to receive their recordings at more than 1,400 participating pharmacies and primary care offices in selected public health units as of Tuesday.
The decision was made based on record-breaking COVID-19 cases and some reports suggesting pharmacies were hesitant due to extremely rare cases of blood clots in those who received the vaccine.
“We need to understand that Health Canada has approved this vaccine for more than 18 years. NACI, a recommendation, took a plethora of precautionary measures. However, the provinces can follow the manufacturer’s approved monograph as well as Health Canada approval, ”Justin Bates told CP24 on Monday. “We suggest that. Go 18 plus. We know there are supply challenges – and I think that’s why 40 were selected because there will be so much demand and we will still see supply shortages – but we know it is safe for 18+, and right here we should be. “
Bates said the Ontario government’s decision to lower the age rating for the AstraZeneca vaccine was “welcome news and a step in the right direction,” but said more needs to be done.
He said a good place to start is to change the rules so that “important workers in any age group” can go to a pharmacy or doctor’s office and get the vaccine. He said his association is also working “daily” with other levels of government to see if there is an opportunity for pharmacies to participate in some of the mobile and pop-up clinics that take place in hot-spot neighborhoods.
“We are definitely aligned with the common goal of getting as many people as possible vaccinated. Our biggest job right now is to emphasize the safety and effectiveness of the vaccine, and to emphasize the importance of the vaccine that is offered to you first. I have an incredibly sad story of someone who recently rejected the AstraZeneca vaccine, who ended up in an intensive care bed and sadly passed away. We can really avoid that by making sure we look at the data, the science, and talk about the benefits that outweigh the risks. We know the AstraZeneca vaccine is safe. “
The province announced that it received 538,400 doses of the AstraZeneca vaccine between March 29 and April 4 under a US loan agreement with Canada. However, a government spokesman said last Thursday that 500,000 of these doses have been delivered to pharmacies and doctor’s offices but have not yet been administered. A dose of Pfizer-BioNTech COVID-19 vaccine was prepared at a UHN vaccination clinic in Toronto on January 1, 2021. THE CANADIAN PRESS / Nathan Denette
Full vaccine coverage at CTVNewsToronto.ca/Vaccines
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