Over the weekend, the Province of Ontario announced that the period between the first and second vaccine doses will change from 35 days to four months (16 weeks) starting on Wednesday, March 10. All vaccination sites including Niagara Health must follow the directives sent out by Ontario’s Vaccine Task Force.
The Province confirmed that this new vaccination schedule applies to people who received their first dose before March 10 at the hospital’s clinic at Seymour Hannah Sports & Entertainment Centre in west St. Catharines. The interval of 21- 27 days between doses remains for long-term care, retirement and First Nations elder care home residents.
The Province based their decision on the recent recommendation from the National Advisory Committee on Immunization (NACI), due to limited COVID-19 vaccine supply and increasing research that the first dose of both Pfizer and Moderna has high effectiveness against symptomatic disease and hospitalization several weeks after the first dose. By extending the period between doses, jurisdictions can maximize the number of individuals benefiting from the first dose of vaccine by extending the interval for the second dose of vaccine to four months.
“Niagara Health will continue to advocate for the time between doses to be reduced should supply of vaccine increase in the future,” said Linda Boich, Niagara Health Executive Vice President, Quality and Mental Health & Addictions, Executive Lead for Integrated Care and the Niagara Health COVID-19 Vaccination Clinic. “Anyone who is awaiting their second dose at our clinic will receive a revised notification about their new second dose appointment.”
Pfizer-BioNTech is the only COVID-19 vaccine type available in Niagara region at this time. The hospital will continue to provide updates on our website if and when other vaccines are made available in the Region.
Niagara Region Public Health is coordinating the mass immunization plan for the general public, which is planned to begin in late March. For more information and updates, please visit their dedicated webpage: https://niagararegion.ca/health/covid-19/vaccination.aspx.