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Who have provinces pegged to receive COVID-19 vaccines in the coming weeks?

THE CANADIAN PRESS | posted Thursday, May 27th, 2021

As COVID-19 vaccine supplies ramp up across the country, most provinces and territories have released details of who can expect to receive a shot in the coming weeks.

Health Canada says up to 37 million doses of vaccine could be shipped in May and June, but only 20.3 million doses of Pfizer-BioNTech and 1.04 million doses of Moderna are confirmed. The remaining 11.3 million doses of Moderna, and another four million doses of Oxford-AstraZeneca from various sources are still tentative.

Procurement Minister Anita Anand says Moderna has assured her it will deliver millions of doses of its COVID-19 vaccine next month but still hasn’t confirmed the exact amount or timing of deliveries.

Anand says she has been on the phone to Moderna repeatedly, to push for an actual delivery schedule for June and July.

Moderna was originally supposed to ship 12.3 million doses between April and June, with the figure later revised to between 10 million and 12 million doses.

However the company has only shipped 3.7 million since April 1 and has no confirmed deliveries in place now.

Provinces initially suspended giving AstraZeneca shots to people under the age of 55 based on an advisory committee’s advice, but their recommendation changed on April 23 to reflect that the shot is safe for anyone aged 30 and older.

More than 655,000 doses of the Oxford-AstraZeneca vaccine from the global vaccine sharing alliance known as COVAX, were scheduled to arrive and be distributed to provinces this week, but most provinces said they would put them on ice in reserve for second doses.

More than 20 million people across Canada have now had at least one dose of a vaccine.

Ottawa confirmed Wednesday that 20.05 million people have been vaccinated, or about 63 per cent of eligible Canadians over the age of 12, and almost 53 per cent of everyone, including children under the age of 12 who won’t become eligible to be vaccinated for several more months.

Prime Minister Justin Trudeau says by the summer, Canada will have enough vaccines so that every eligible resident will have gotten their first dose, and by September, it will have enough doses for everyone to be fully vaccinated.

The National Advisory Committee on Immunization says it  believes it is safe and effective to offer the Pfizer-BioNTech vaccine to adolescents.

Health Canada authorized Pfizer for kids between 12 and 15 years old on May 5, after the company completed a clinical trial which found it was safe and 100 per cent effective at preventing kids in that age group from getting COVID-19.

Here’s a list of the inoculation plans throughout Canada:

Newfoundland and Labrador

All people in the province aged 12 and older are now able to book an appointment for a first dose of COVID-19 vaccine.

So far 1.97 per cent (10,321) of the population has been fully vaccinated.

Health Minister John Haggie says the province has 1,480 doses of the Oxford-AstraZeneca vaccine set to expire by the end of the month.

He says if the province cannot use them in time, they’ll be sent off to join the federal vaccine supply chain.

Nova Scotia

Appointments for an initial COVID-19 vaccine shot were opened across the province Tuesday to people 20 years of age and older, and officials said vaccine appointments would likely be opened to those 12 and up by the end of the week.

Nova Scotia’s COVID-19 vaccination rollout is ahead of schedule and should see second doses being administered two to four weeks earlier than originally planned, officials said Tuesday.

Under the province’s accelerated plan, someone who received their first dose of vaccine on March 22 and is due for a second dose on July 5 will now be able to reschedule their second appointment for as early as the week of June 20.

The province has stopped the use of AstraZeneca’s vaccine as a first dose.

The Health Department says the decision was based on “an abundance of caution” due to an observed increase in the rare blood-clotting condition linked to this vaccine.

The department also says it will reschedule anyone who was to receive AstraZeneca to instead be inoculated with Pfizer-BioNTech or Moderna “in a timely manner.”

As of Tuesday, 521,053 doses of COVID-19 vaccine have been administered, with 42,205 people having received their required second dose.

Prince Edward Island

In Prince Edward Island, residents as young as 16 can book a COVID-19 vaccine.

People 16 years and older who have certain underlying medical conditions, pregnant woman and eligible members of their household can also get a vaccine.

So far 7.66 per cent (12,156) of the population has been fully vaccinated.

New Brunswick

Residents in New Brunswick aged 12 to 17 are now eligible to book an appointment for a Pfizer COVID-19 vaccine.

Officials also say residents 55 and older who received an Astra-Zenaca vaccine for the first dose at least eight weeks ago can now get a second dose of the vaccine with informed consent.

Quebec

In Quebec, all residents 12 and older are able to book a COVID-19 vaccination appointment.

The province’s health minister says Quebecers 12 to 17 years old will be fully vaccinated by the time they return to school in September.

Quebec says it administered 58,764 doses of vaccine Tuesday, for a total of more than 5.1 million.

About 56.2 per cent of people in the province have received at least one dose.

Ontario

All adults in Ontario can now book COVID-19 vaccine appointments.

People turning 18 in 2021 can book Pfizer-BioNTech shots.

Youth aged 12 and older can also book appointments across Ontario.

They can book through the provincial online portal, call centre and through pharmacies offering the Pfizer-BioNTech vaccine, the only shot authorized by Health Canada for use in youth aged 12 and older.

The age group is becoming eligible a week ahead of schedule, though some regions have already started vaccinating youth at pop-ups and larger clinics.

The province aims to see all eligible Ontarians fully vaccinated by the end of September.

The province is distributing shots to regions on a per-capita basis, after two weeks of sending half of its vaccine supply to hot spots for COVID-19 infections.

Ontario is also resuming use of the Oxford-AstraZeneca vaccine but only as a second dose.

Dr. David Williams, the province’s chief medical officer of health, says those who received the first dose of AstraZeneca between March 10 and March 19 during a pilot project at pharmacies and some doctor’s offices in several Ontario communities will be first in line to receive their second dose.

Starting next week, those people could opt to receive the second dose at a 10-week interval − the recommended interval is 12 weeks − in order to use up the 45,000 doses currently in refrigerators in pharmacies and family doctors’ offices that will expire in 10 days. Another 10,000 doses are set to expire next month.

Manitoba

Manitoba is using the Pfizer vaccine for everyone aged 12 and up, and the Moderna vaccines for people aged 18 and up These are available through a few channels including so-called supersites in larger communities.

The province is also allowing anyone 40 and over to get an Oxford-AstraZeneca vaccine through pharmacies and medical clinics, subject to availability. People 30-39 can get a shot if they have certain underlying health conditions such as chronic liver failure or severe obesity.

The province has opened up second-dose appointments to all Indigenous people aged 12 and up, to people with certain medical conditions such as severe heart failure and Down syndrome, and anyone who received their first dose on or before March 29.

Saskatchewan

Saskatchewan says it reached the Step 2 threshold on the province’s Re-Opening Roadmap today, with over 70 per cent of residents age 30 and older having received their first dose of COVID-19 vaccine.

That means Step 2’s relaxation of restrictions will begin June 20, which includes easing capacity thresholds on retail, personal care services, restaurants and bars, although they must still maintain physical distancing among occupants or have barriers in place.

Step 2 rules also raise caps on private indoor gatherings to 15, while capacity limits jump to 150 for both public indoor gatherings and all outdoor assemblies, whether public or private.

Premier Scott Moe says once 70 per cent of the entire adult population is vaccinated, Saskatchewan can move to Step Three and remove almost all of the remaining public health orders.

Saskatchewan residents aged 12 and older are now eligible to book their first COVID-19 vaccine appointment.

A school immunization program for those aged 12-18 will be introduced in June, but eligible residents of that age can also be immunized at clinics offering the Pfizer vaccine.

Anyone 85 and older or anyone who received their first vaccine dose before February 15 can now book their second dose.

Anyone diagnosed with cancer and solid organ transplant recipients will be receiving a letter of eligibility in the mail which will allow them priority access to a second dose.

There are drive-thru and walk-in vaccination clinics in communities across the province.

The province says as of Tuesday, 63 per cent of all Saskatchewan adults have now received their first dose of COVID-19 vaccine.

Thirty-seven per cent of those in the 80-plus age group are now fully vaccinated.

Alberta

Every Albertan aged 12 and older is now eligible for a vaccine.

As of May 18, more than half of all Albertans over the age of 12 had received at least one dose of a COVID-19 vaccine. Dr. Deena Hinshaw, the province’s chief medical officer of health has said people who are immunocompromised can book a second dose three of four weeks after their first shot. All other Albertans are eligible to get their second dose three to four months after the first.

For the Oxford-AstraZeneca vaccine, the province lowered the minimum age to 30. They are, however, reserving the remaining supply for second doses when people are eligible.

More than 250 pharmacies are offering immunizations. Ten physicians’ clinics across the province are also providing shots as part of a pilot project.

About 15,000 workers at 136 meat-packing plants across the province can also get shots at on-site clinics, pharmacies and clinics.

British Columbia

Families can get vaccinated together in British Columbia as the government allows youth between the ages of 12 and 17 to get their COVID-19 shot.

The shots will be administered at community clinics instead of in schools based on feedback from families, with 310,000 children in B.C. eligible to get the Pfizer-BioNTech vaccine, which has been approved for that age group.

The government said the goal is to have those children vaccinated by the end of the school year.

People who’ve had a first dose of the Oxford-AstraZeneca vaccine will have the option of choosing their second shot within a four-month interval in B.C.

Provincial health officer Dr. Bonnie Henry says 20,000 doses of the AstraZeneca vaccine are set to expire at the end of June and were reserved for people who may not be able to get an mRNA vaccine, such as the one made by Pfizer-BioNTech.

And she says more information is expected by the first week of June from a study in the United Kingdom on the effectiveness of switching vaccines for the second dose.

Henry says an increase in the supply of vaccines in the coming weeks means everyone can expect to have their second dose moved up.

As of Tuesday, almost three million doses of vaccine have been administered to adults over 18, with 152,010 of those second doses.

Nunavut

Chief public health officer Dr. Michael Patterson says Nunavut has placed an order for doses of the Pfizer-BioNTech vaccine with the federal government to vaccinate people ages 12 to 17 in the territory.

The Moderna vaccine is currently the only one available in Nunavut.

Nunavut has opened vaccinations to anyone 18 and older.

It is also offering shots to rotational workers coming from Southern Canada.

Northwest Territories

The Northwest Territories is now offering vaccinations against COVID-19 to young people between 12 and 17.

The territory, which has only been using the Moderna vaccine, recently exchanged some of that for doses of the Pfizer product, which Health Canada has now approved for anyone as young as 12.

Yukon

The territory started vaccinating children aged 12 to 17 on May 31.

The government says clinics in most communities will be held in schools, while those in Whitehorse can get their shot at the Coast High Country Inn Convention Centre. The children will be getting the Pfizer-BioNTech vaccine.

The territory says because of limited supply and stricter handling requirements, the vaccine will only be available for a short time.

It says second doses for those 12 to 17 will start on June 23 and medical travel will be supported for youth who aren’t able to make the clinic date in their community.

The government says more than 75 per cent of all eligible adults have now received at least one dose of COVID-19 vaccine.

That amounts to 26,242 adults who have received their first dose, while the territory says 23,236 have received their second dose.

This report by The Canadian Press was first published May 27, 2021.

The Canadian Press

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