Pfizer vaccine delay means Alberta is prioritizing second doses

Jan 18 2021, 4:48 pm

An interruption in Pfizer’s COVID-19 vaccine shipping schedule means Alberta will focus on administering second doses before scheduling more appointments for first doses.

Chief Medical Officer of Health Dr. Deena Hinshaw said limited availability of vaccine in the coming weeks means getting people their second jab within 42 days is now the priority.

“At the moment it does seem like we have enough vaccine in hand to be able to offer that second dose to all who have booked it,” she said at a news conference Monday.

The vaccine manufacturer is doing upgrades at its European facility to increase production capacity. But long-term gain means short-term delays.

Canada and other countries signed on to receive vaccine from that facility have had their number of doses slashed in the coming weeks, although Pfizer said it is on track to meet its commitments by the end of March.

“While we cannot control the amount of vaccine available, we are working to immunize Albertans as safely and as effectively as possible,” Hinshaw said.

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