As COVID-19 vaccine supplies ramp up across the country, most provinces and territories have begun planning to give second doses in the coming weeks.
More than 24 million people across Canada have now had at least one dose of a vaccine. Nationwide, 2,161,428 people or 5.7 per cent of the population has been fully vaccinated.
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 people who got the Oxford-AstraZeneca vaccine for the first dose can be offered either Pfizer-BioNTech or Moderna for the second.
The advice affects more than two million Canadians who received the Oxford-AstraZeneca vaccine before provinces stopped using it for first doses last month as it is potentially linked to a rare but serious blood clotting syndrome.
NACI said it is basing their advice on the risk of the syndrome, and emerging evidence that mixing and matching different types of vaccines is not only safe but may produce a better immune response.
The advisory panel has also recommended that Canada turn toward the ultimate goal of fully immunizing the population, now that supplies of COVID-19 shots are increasing.
NACI said those at highest risk of dying or becoming severely ill should be prioritized for second shots, either after or alongside first doses for anyone else who is eligible for a vaccine.
Since the novel coronavirus is still circulating in Canada, NACI is still recommending that the second dose be received up to four months after the first dose, in order to maximize the number of people who get at least one shot.
Here’s a list of the inoculation plans throughout Canada:
Newfoundland and Labrador
All people in the province aged 12 and older can now book an appointment for a first dose of COVID-19 vaccine.
So far 2.19 per cent (11,446) of the population has been fully vaccinated.
Appointments for an initial COVID-19 vaccine shot are now open to people 12 years of age and older.
Currently, the Pfizer vaccine is the only one approved for use in children aged 12 and up. The Moderna vaccine is only available for those 18 and older.
Under the province’s accelerated vaccine 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 Sunday, 583,873 doses of COVID-19 vaccine have been administered, with 43,463 people having received their booster shot.
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 8.11 per cent (12,868) of the population has been fully vaccinated.
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.
About 63.4 per cent of New Brunswickers aged 12 and older have received at least a first dose of a COVID-19 vaccine.
In Quebec, all residents 12 and older can 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 also says it will shorten the delay between first and second doses of the Oxford-AstraZeneca vaccine to eight weeks from 16 weeks. The government says it will announce a plan on Thursday that will allow Quebecers to advance their second doses of COVID-19 vaccine.
About 61.3 per cent of Quebecers have received at least one vaccine dose.
Quebec says it will begin vaccinating temporary foreign workers when they arrive at the Montreal airport.
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.
Ontarians, meanwhile, are getting the option to shorten the interval between COVID-19 vaccine doses.
Most people are being scheduled for doses four months apart, but officials say the new interval could be as short as 28 days.
The plan will start with seniors aged 80 and older this week and the province will later offer second shots based on when people received their first.
People will keep their original appointments if they don’t re-book.
The province aims to see all eligible Ontarians fully vaccinated by the end of September.
Ontario is also resuming use of the Oxford-AstraZeneca vaccine but only as a second dose.
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.
Ontario says more than 10 million doses of COVID-19 vaccine have now been administered across the province.
So far 4.68 per cent (687,894) of the population has been fully vaccinated
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 who received the Oxford-AstraZeneca vaccine as their first shot to get their second dose from a vaccine made by a different company. The province has approved the use of Pfizer-BioNTech and Moderna as a second dose option for people who are eligible.
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 April 13.
Provincial health officials say they now expect 70 per cent of Manitobans aged 12 and older to get a dose by the end of June.
So far, 62 per cent of Manitobans over the age of 12 have been vaccinated.
Saskatchewan says northern residents who are older than 50 are eligible to receive their second dose of COVID-19 vaccine. Everyone who had their first dose is now eligible, as long as they meet the minimum interval doses set by the manufacturer. Those are 21 days for Pfizer-BioNTech and 28 days for Moderna.
Residents who are older than 65 in other regions of the province or anyone who received their first dose before March 22 are also eligible for second doses as of today.
Eligibility requirements for first doses are open to 12 and older. Only the Pfizer-BioNTech vaccine has been approved for use with residents 12 to 17.
A school immunization program for students aged 12 to 17 has also begun.
Anyone diagnosed with cancer and solid transplant recipients will be receiving a letter of eligibility in the mail that will allow them priority access to a second dose.
AstraZeneca is only available for second doses to people who received it as their first dose and are over the age of 85.
It’s also available to cancer patients, solid organ transplant patients, or patients who are receiving treatment with certain drugs. Those individuals will be contacted for an appointment.
Officials say anyone who received AstraZeneca can safely be offered a second dose of either Pfizer-BioNTech or Moderna based on the advice of the National Advisory Committee on Immunization.
Starting next Monday, clinics will be giving second doses of AstraZeneca to anyone who is eligible and wants one.
There are drive-thru and walk-in vaccination clinics in communities across the province.
Saskatchewan started Step 1 of its reopening roadmap on Sunday, three weeks since 70 per cent of people age 40 and older began receiving their first dose of COVID-19 vaccine.
The second phase of reopening is expected to begin June 20 and, if 70 per cent of people age 12 and older have received their first dose at that time, all restrictions could be lifted as early as July 11.
Every Albertan aged 12 and older is eligible for a vaccine.
Dr. Deena Hinshaw, the province’s chief medical officer of health, has said people who are immunocompromised can book a second dose three or four weeks after their first shot.
Albertans who had their first dose of vaccine in March are now eligible to book their second shot. Anyone vaccinated in April can start booking June 14, and those vaccinated in May can start booking June 28.
For the Oxford-AstraZeneca vaccine, the province says people can also get either Pfizer-BioNTech or Moderna for the second shot.
More than 250 pharmacies, dozens of doctors’ offices and several mass clinics are offering immunizations.
The province has delivered 2.8 million doses of vaccine and almost 63 per cent of those eligible – 12 years of age and older – have received at least one shot.
The milestone means the province’s second stage of easing restrictions could begin on June 10. It is also subject to hospitalizations being below 500 and trending downwards. Some of the restrictions that would be lifted include allowing outdoor gatherings – including weddings and funerals – with up to 20 people. Restaurants would be allowed to seat tables with up to six people, indoors or outdoors. Retail capacity would also increase, and gyms could open for solo or drop-in activities with three metres of distancing.
British Columbia is setting an end-of-summer target for everyone in the province to receive their second dose of a COVID-19 vaccine.
Provincial health officer Dr. Bonnie Henry has also announced a decrease in the time between the first and second dose of the Moderna and Pfizer-BioNTech vaccines, cutting the interval to eight weeks from 16 weeks.
The province says guidance from the National Advisory Committee on Immunization on getting different COVID-19 vaccines for first and second doses will help inform the approach taken in B.C. for those who received the AstraZeneca shot. It says more information will be released later this week.
The rollout of second doses will be similar to the first dose, with those at the greatest risk at the top of the list. Seniors, Indigenous people and those who are clinically extremely vulnerable were to start getting their invitations to book a second shot by the end of May.
As of Tuesday, about 3.3 million doses of Pfizer, Moderna and AstraZeneca vaccines had been administered in B.C., which means about 70 per cent of all adults and 67 per cent of those 12 and older have had their first dose of a COVID-19 vaccine.
Nunavut announced Monday that it would start offering the Pfizer-BioNTech vaccine to youth ages 12 to 17 on June 15.
The territory will receive over 9,000 doses of Pfizer from Ontario in exchange for doses of the Moderna vaccine, which is currently the only one available.
Vaccination clinics for teens will roll out across the territory throughout June.
Nunavut has opened vaccinations to anyone 18 and older.
It is also offering shots to rotational workers coming from Southern Canada.
In the territory, 36.44 per cent (14,113) of the population has now been fully vaccinated.
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.
So far 51.74 per cent (23,344) of the territory’s population has been fully vaccinated.
The territory is now vaccinating children aged 12 to 17.
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 Moderna vaccine is available to adults 18 years of age and older.
The government says 59.34 per cent (24,763) of the population has now been fully vaccinated.
This report by The Canadian Press was first published June 2, 2021.
The Canadian Press
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