Ontario may soon be following British Columbia’s lead and extending the time between doses of COVID-19 vaccines. B.C.’s Provincial Health Officer Dr. Bonnie Henry has said there is growing evidence that the time between the first and second dose of the Pfizer-BioNtech and Moderna vaccines can be extended to four months, while still protecting against the virus. In a joint statement today Ontario’s Health Minister, Christine Elliott, and Solicitor General Sylvia Jones said they are working with the federal government and the National Advisory Committee on Immunization to determine any “potential updated direction” on second dose intervals.
“Our government is keenly interested in doing everything possible to get as many vaccines into arms as quickly as possible. By safely extending the dose interval, Ontario would reach more at-risk Ontarians with our vaccine rollout, and potentially offer the vaccine to the general population much earlier than originally planned. We also remain steadfastly committed to ensuring everyone who receives their first dose is provided maximum protection by receiving their second dose as informed by scientific knowledge.”
The statement said Ontario is looking to do the same as B.C. and extend the second dose interval to four months, “We remain committed to administering as many doses, as quickly as possible to Ontarians. We all know that the sooner the people of Ontario are immunized, the more lives will be saved and the sooner everyone can start to return to normal.”
More details are expected after the federal government gives direction and there is more information on how many doses Ontario will receive off the newly-approved AstraZeneca vaccine.