Ontario Adjusts Vaccination Plan in Response to Pfizer-BioNTech Shipment Delays

Published on January 25, 2021

On January 19, the federal government notified the government that there would be further reductions in Pfizer-BioNTech vaccine shipments, meaning that Ontario will not see any deliveries the week of January 25 and only just over 26,000 doses for the first weeks of February.  As of today, Ontario has not been provided its allocation for the weeks of February 8, 2021 and February 15, 2021, creating further uncertainty for the province’s vaccine rollout. 

In response to significant reductions in current Pfizer-BioNTech vaccine supplies and significant uncertainty in future supplies by the federal government, the government has worked with our vaccination site partners to accelerate vaccination of our most vulnerable and continue to administer second doses based on the availability of supplies.   

We are reducing the risk of severe illness and deaths by accelerating vaccination of our most vulnerable residents in long-term care, high-risk retirement, and First Nations elder care, with the goal of administering the first dose by February 5, pending delivery dates the week of February 1.   

We are protecting access to second doses of the Pfizer-BioNTech vaccine for those who have already received their first dose by maintaining the maximum interval of 21-27 days for long-term care and retirement home residents, and up to 42 days between the two doses for other groups, which aligns with guidance from the National Advisory Committee on Immunization (NACI).   

Ontario’s initiative to vaccinate northern, remote First Nations communities will also continue. 

The government is ready to administer the COVID-19 vaccine and expand the number of vaccination sites as soon as doses are received. Ontario has capacity to vaccinate nearly 40,000 people per day and is building capacity to triple or quadruple that capacity pending federal government supply. 

Until we have sufficient vaccine supply from the federal government so that every Ontarian who wishes to receive a vaccine can get one, it remains critically important that all Ontarians stay home and only go out for essential reasons. This remains the best way to protect our communities and stop the spread of this deadly virus.   

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