Shomporko Online News Desk: Ontario is speeding up second COVID-19 shots in areas of the province where the Delta variety is on the rise, but the 12-week interval for individuals who had AstraZeneca will remain the same.
Despite pleas to shorten the AstraZeneca wait time in light of the emergence of the highly contagious Delta form, the government is maintaining its 12-week injection interval, claiming it is the most effective based on existing research.
Those who receive an mRNA vaccination from Pfizer or Moderna, on the other hand, will be eligible much sooner.
Beginning next Monday June 14, anyone who received a first shot on or before May 9 in certain regions with a high Delta prevalence will be eligible to receive a second shot, more than a month ahead of schedule. The eligible regions are Halton, Peel, Porcupine, Toronto, Waterloo, Wellington-Dufferin-Guelph and York.
Some regions have not been meeting their daily vaccination targets, health officials said on Thursday, and the COVID-19 vaccination task force is working with public health units to ensure there aren’t vaccines sitting unused in freezers.
The province will only provide extra vaccine doses to regions with Delta variants once current supply is utilized – with a buffer of an extra day’s inventory available.
Beginning June 20, the government will open workplace mobile vaccine clinics in Peel, York, and Toronto, and workplaces in Peel will begin delivering second doses in hotspot neighborhoods.
Health officials at AstraZeneca said they are examining requests to expedite second doses, but that their decision will be based on clinical evidence and data. Alberta and British Columbia, for example, are delivering second AstraZeneca doses after eight weeks.
Adults aged 70 and older, as well as those who received their first dose on or before April 18, have already had their second shots expedited in Ontario.
So far, 73% of adults in Ontario have received their first dosage, and 11% have had their entire vaccination.