The latest on P.E.I.'s COVID-19 vaccine rollout

·2 min read
The latest on P.E.I.'s COVID-19 vaccine rollout
P.E.I. may have given all eligible Islanders their first dose of COVID-19 vaccine earlier than the end of June. (Robert Short/CBC - image credit)
P.E.I. may have given all eligible Islanders their first dose of COVID-19 vaccine earlier than the end of June. (Robert Short/CBC - image credit)

Prince Edward Island's five-step plan to reopen its borders, announced a week ago, depends heavily on people getting vaccinated against COVID-19.

Right now on P.E.I., anyone over 12 can book an appointment to receive the vaccine. Soon the Pfizer-BioNTech shot will be offered in P.E.I.'s junior high schools, with parental consent.

"We are progressing nicely with the vaccine rollout," said Health PEI's Chief of Nursing Marion Dowling, in an interview with CBC News: Compass host Louise Martin Thursday.

The latest numbers including Wednesday, June 6, show that P.E.I. has vaccinated 60 per cent of its targeted population 12 and over with at least one dose, Dowling said.

That's just over 84,000 P.E.I. residents innoculated with one dose, plus 10,000 who have also had a second dose.

"We're getting there, and getting there quite nicely," Dowling said. "Our clinics are running smoothly, the partnership with the pharmacies is going well, and the uptake is there from our population — so that's really a credit to Islanders."

'Walked the line finely'

Health PEI's goal is to vaccinate 80 per cent of P.E.I.'s eligible population by the end of June, or sooner.

P.E.I. may have given all eligible Islanders their first dose of COVID-19 vaccine earlier than the end of June.
P.E.I. may have given all eligible Islanders their first dose of COVID-19 vaccine earlier than the end of June.(Robert Short/CBC)

"We have started progressing toward those second-dose appointments," as appointments for first doses slow, Dowling said.

She reminded Islanders not to self-book their second doses online with Health PEI's mass clinics — people will receive an appointment by text, phone or voicemail and can change it if is not at a suitable time, she said.

The timing of those second doses will depend on the exact amount of vaccine the province receives over the coming weeks, which officials don't yet know exactly.

Anyone who's been immunized throughout the month of May should receive their second-dose appointments over the next two to three weeks, Dowling said.

People have choices which vaccine they would like to receive. Dowling said that can make vaccine rollout easier and at the same time, more complicated, to help people understand their choices.

The supply of Pfizer-BioNTech has been reliable and has met expectations, she said, while Moderna has been less predictable.

Health PEI has been using doses as quickly as it receives them, she said.

"We have had a couple of times where we have been quite close to looking at tomorrow's doses that are booked for people ... thankfully we have not had to cancel any clinics due to supply challenges," Dowling said.

"We've walked the line finely ... and that's what we want to be doing."

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