Province continues to accelerate second dose vaccine schedule

646

The province of Ontario is continuing to step up efforts to get vaccines into arms ahead of schedule.

Deputy Premier and Minister of Health Christine Elliott announced Thursday that all Ontario residents who received their first dose of the Pfizer or Moderna vaccines before May 9 will be eligible to book an early second dose as of Monday, June 21.

“Thanks to the efforts of Team Ontario we are making tremendous progress in our vaccine rollout, protecting communities at greatest risk of COVID-19 and variants,” Elliott said.

“Every dose administered brings us closer to ending the pandemic and moving to Step Two of our Roadmap (to Reopen), and I encourage everyone to do their part and get their shot as soon as they are eligible.”

On Wednesday, June 23, residents who received one of the “mRNA” vaccines and who live in one of 10 provincial “hot spots” will also be eligible to book an early second dose if they received their first dose before May 30.

Second dose bookings will then be expanded to everyone 18 and over who received Pfizer or Moderna, regardless of the date of their first shot, during the week of June 28. Second doses will be booked at least 28 days after the first dose.

The province says it will continue to expand eligibility for accelerated second doses across Ontario as additional vaccine allocations and shipment timelines are confirmed by the federal government.

The province said the National Advisory Committee on Immunization (NACI) has confirmed that a “mixed vaccine schedule” can be completed safely and is effective, meaning those who received a Moderna vaccine for their first shot can receive the Pfizer vaccine for their second dose, or the other way around.

“To ensure maximum protection against COVID-19 and the Delta variant, Ontarians are encouraged to get vaccinated as soon as they can and to receive their second dose within the recommended interval.”

“Vaccines work,” Elliott said. “The best vaccine for your second dose is the one that’s available first.”

The province said that as of Wednesday, 75 per cent of Ontario residents had received their first vaccine dose and almost 19 per cent were “fully vaccinated” with their second.

“The large increase of Moderna vaccines and steady supply of Pfizer has enabled Ontario to speed up second dose appointments, target hot spot areas and provide more options for people to become fully immunized,” said Solicitor General Sylvia Jones.

“With every vaccine administered we are making meaningful progress in our collective efforts to protect our loved ones and keep communities safe.”

  • For more local coverage, pick up a copy of this week’s NRT. To get the NRT delivered directly to your mail box or inbox each week, subscribe here.