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Province Adjusts Vaccination Plan in Response to Pfizer-BioTech Shipment Delays (Posted Jan. 27, 2021)

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

January 26, 2021

The Ontario government is accelerating the vaccination of residents in long-term care, high-risk 
retirement, and First Nations elder care homes by a new target date of February 5, 2021. To protect 
access to second doses of the Pfizer-BioNTech vaccine for those who have already received their 
first dose, Ontario will maintain the maximum interval of 21- 27 days for long-term care, 
retirement and First Nations elder care home resident groups and up to 42 days between the two 
doses for all other groups. These adjustments are being  made  following  notification  by  the  
federal  government  of  reductions  in  Pfizer- BioNTech vaccine shipments.

Details  were  provided on  January  25 by  Premier  Doug  Ford,  Christine  Elliott,  Deputy 
Premier and Minister of Health, Solicitor General Sylvia Jones, and General Rick Hillier (retired), 
Chair of the COVID-19 Vaccine Distribution Task Force.

"Due  to  the  delay  in  the  next  shipment  of  Pfizer  vaccine  doses,  we  are  ensuring  all 
available supplies are redirected to those who need them most: our residents in long-term care and 
retirement homes," said Premier Ford. "I know this will mean that some people may  have  to  
reschedule  their  vaccine  appointments,  but  it  is  critical  that  our  most vulnerable 
seniors receive the protection they need as soon as possible."

On January 19, 2021, the federal government notified the province of further reductions in 
Pfizer-BioNTech vaccine shipments. Ontario will not receive vaccine deliveries for the week of 
January 25, 2021 and will receive just over 26,000 doses for the first weeks of February. As of 
January 25th, 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 the significant reduction in distribution by the federal government and the 
uncertainty of future shipments, the province and vaccination sites have worked together to develop 
a plan to accelerate vaccination of the province's most vulnerable. Second doses will continue to 
be administered based on availability of supply provided by the federal government. Actions being 
taken include:

•     Accelerate vaccination of the most vulnerable populations across Ontario with the goal of 
visiting each home in the province to administer first doses by February 5,
week of February 1, 2021 delivery dates.

•     Doses of the Moderna vaccine will be reallocated to 14 public health units to ensure vaccines 
are administered at each long-term care home in the province.

"Despite  ongoing  challenges  with  supply,  together  with  our  partners,  we  continue  to 
vaccinate our most vulnerable as quickly as possible, and we continue to be ready to administer  
vaccines  to  Ontarians  as  soon  as  we  receive  them  from  the  federal government,"  said  
Minister  Elliott.  "Until  there  is  sufficient  supply  to  vaccinate  every Ontarian who  wants 
 to  receive one,  we  continue  to urge everyone  to stay home  and continue to follow public 
health measures."

Ontario's  initiative  to  vaccinate  northern,  remote  First  Nations  communities  will  also 
continue. To date, 760 doses have been delivered by Ornge to Sioux Lookout, with 568 doses  
administered  by  Sioux  Lookout  Meno  Ya  Win  Health  Centre  and  45  doses administered by 
Sioux Lookout First Nations Health Authority (SLFNHA). Ornge has also delivered  680  doses  to  
communities  across  James  Bay  Coast,  with  575  doses administered or scheduled to be 
administered to remote fly-in First Nations communities, including 100 staff at Weeneebayko Area 
Health Authority (WAHA) vaccinated with a first dose. In February, Ornge will lead Operation Remote 
Immunity, to rollout the vaccine to 31 fly-in communities.

"We are working diligently with our partners to ensure vaccines continue to reach our Phase 1 
priority populations, despite limited supplies from the Federal Government," said Solicitor General 
Sylvia Jones. "It is critical that Ontarians continue to follow public health measures to ensure we 
limit the spread of COVID-19 and keep our communities safe."

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

"We continue to push forward with our vaccination efforts across the province to ensure our 
frontline health care workers, remote First Nations and vulnerable populations are protected," said 
General (Ret'd) Rick Hillier. "We will be ready to ramp up our efforts once again when more doses 
become available."

Today, the government extended the declared provincial emergency for another 14 days. The 
declaration of emergency made under section 7.0.1 of the Emergency Management and  Civil  
Protection  Act  (EMCPA), originally  declared  on  January  12,  2021,  will  now expire  on  
February  9,  2021,  unless  extended  further.  All  orders  under  the  EMCPA, including O. Reg 
11/21 (Stay-at-Home Order), O. Reg 8/21 (Enforcement of COVID-19 Measures) and O. Reg 13/21 
(Residential Evictions) were also extended. Orders under the Reopening Ontario Act (ROA) continue 
to be in force.

Quick Facts

•     Ontario  is  committed  to  vaccinating  residents  in  long-term  care  and  high-risk 
retirement homes as quickly as vaccines are received. To date, the first round of vaccinations have 
been completed, for those who are willing and eligible, in all 
long-term care  homes in Toronto, Peel, York, Windsor-Essex, Durham, Halton, Hamilton, Niagara, Ottawa, and Simcoe-Muskoka regions.

•     To protect access to second doses of the Pfizer-BioNTech vaccine for those who have already 
received their first dose, Ontario will maintain the maximum interval of 21-27 days for long-term 
care, retirement and First Nations elder care home resident groups and up to 42 days between the 
two doses for all other groups. These  intervals  are  aligned  with  guidance  provided  by  the  
National  Advisory Committee on Immunization (NACI). The intervals will be adjusted down to 21-27 
days as quickly as possible, once vaccine supply permits.

•     As  of  January  25  at  10:00  a.m.,  over  287,000  vaccine  doses  have  been administered 
across the province,  including over 80,000 doses administered to long-term care staff and 
retirement home staff, over 114,000 doses administered to health care workers and over 68,000 doses 
administered to long-term care and retirement home residents.

Additional Resources

•     Ontario Achieves Key Milestone with Vaccinations in Long-Term Care
•     Ontario to Vaccinate up to 8.5 Million People in Phase Two
•     Ontario Accelerates COVID-19 Vaccinations for Long-Term Care Homes in Priority Regions
•     Ontario Releases Ethical Framework for COVID-19 Vaccine Distribution
•     Ontario Expands COVID-19 Vaccine Locations
•     Visit Ontario's website to learn more about how the province continues to protect the people 
of Ontario from COVID-19.
•     For public inquiries call ServiceOntario, INFOline at 1-866-532-3161 (Toll-free in Ontario 

Sean Patterson
Chief Administrative Officer
613 584-2000 Ext. 108

Jessy Pace
Administrative Assistant
613-584-2000 ext. 107

David McCarthy
Infrastructure /Admin Foreman

Shannon Lapping
Operations Foreman

Eric McQuestion
Facility Supervisor