How much time between vaccines? Canada's top health officials say guidance is coming this week

Elisabetta Bianchini
·2 min read

Dr. Theresa Tam, Canada’s chief public health officer, confirmed that the National Advisory Committee on Immunization (NACI) should be providing recommendations on the length of time between two doses of COVID-19 vaccines later this week.

This comes after B.C. officials announced Tuesday that the they will be administering COVID-19 vaccine doses four months apart.

Dr. Howard Njoo, deputy chief public health officer, stressed that now there is "real world" data on these vaccines and their effectiveness, even just after the first dose.

"What is the balance between vaccinating larger number of Canadians and giving them a good level of protection..while not compromising the effectiveness of the vaccine," Dr. Njoo said.

He added that this is very much a "live issue," with Dr. Tam adding that the NACI recommendations should not be seen as "static" guidance.

How many more COVID-19 vaccine doses is Canada set to receive?

Maj.-Gen. Dany Fortin, the vice president of logistics and operations at the Public Health Agency of Canada and head of Canada's vaccine distribution efforts, said in the first two weeks of April, Canada should receive 769,000 doses of COVID-19 vaccine from Pfizer each week.

Moderna will move to a two-week shipping schedule, with 466,000 doses expected next week and 846,000 doses the week of March 22.

Canada should receive the initial 500,000 doses of the AstraZeneca vaccine as early as tomorrow, with one million doses expected to arrive in April and 500,000 in May.

This comes as NACI has now changed its guidance on the AstraZeneca vaccine, not recommending it for seniors 65 and older.

"NACI does not recommend the use of this vaccine in individuals 65 years of age and older due to limited information on the efficacy of this vaccine in this age group at this time," the guidance reads.

Maj.-Gen. Fortin said Canadians can expect 23 million dose fo the Pfizer-BioNtech and Moderna vaccines between April and June, and 1.5 million doses of the AstraZeneca vaccine in mid-May.