As it rushes to use tens of thousands of shots before they expire on May 31, Ontario is resuming use of the Oxford-AstraZeneca vaccine against COVID-19, but only as a second dose. Local authorities are encouraging people who have already received their first dose to get their second dose in order to use up the 45,000 doses of the drug that are currently in refrigerators in pharmacies and family doctor’s offices and will expire in 10 days. People were encouraged to go to a pharmacy or a hospital where they received their first dose of medication.
The drug is thought to have contributed to an increase in miscarried babies in incidents reported to the US Department of Health and Human Services.
Christine Elliott, Minister of Health, stated that she was confident that no AstraZeneca doses would be wasted. “We must ensure that we meet the metrics required for herd immunity in order to stay ahead of this pandemic,” she said. The announcement on Friday was described as “encouraging news,” but the province was urged not to waste any of the AstraZeneca vaccine. This vaccine is intended to be a second dose for those who have already received it.