P.E.I. to get double the amount of Pfizer vaccine for May and June

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Pfizer-BioNTech will send P.E.I. double the amount of vaccine it had planned to for May and June. says Dr. Heather Morrison.  (Dado Ruvic/Reuters - image credit)
Pfizer-BioNTech will send P.E.I. double the amount of vaccine it had planned to for May and June. says Dr. Heather Morrison. (Dado Ruvic/Reuters - image credit)

Double the amount of Pfizer-BioNTech vaccine will arrive on P.E.I. in May and June than was previously announced, Chief Public Health Officer Dr. Heather Morrison said in a public briefing Thursday.

Morrison said she was pleased to announce some "good news": Through the federal procurement process, Pfizer-BioNTech will send an additional 47,430 doses, which will allow for more appointments sooner and Islanders receiving second doses sooner.

"Certain groups have been prioritized to receive their second dose of vaccine as close as possible to one month after their first dose, based on their risk or likelihood of experiencing severe outcomes from the disease," Morrison said.

Those include:

  • Residents of long-term care and community care facilities.

  • Rotational workers and truck drivers who travel outside Atlantic Canada.

  • Seniors 80 and older living in the community.

  • People having cancer treatment.

Morrison said given the new supply forecast, the previous plan to deliver a second dose to everyone within 16 weeks has now changed to within 12 weeks.

Pfizer-BioNTech's vaccine could also be approved in Canada for use in 12- to 15-year-olds and would be offered on P.E.I. this spring, Morrison said.

Next week, Islanders 40 to 49 can begin booking vaccine appointments.

P.E.I.'s Chief Nurse Marion Dowling suggested booking online is fastest and most efficient, although Islanders may also book by phone.

More vaccinations per week

Dowling said P.E.I.'s vaccination effort has been going "smoothly."

There will be COVID-19 vaccinations for all Islanders who want them, health officials say.
There will be COVID-19 vaccinations for all Islanders who want them, health officials say. (Stephane Mahe/Reuters)

More than 6,000 people are scheduled to be vaccinated this week alone, and that will rise to about 10,000 a week in May, with the extra vaccine.

As of Tuesday this week:

  • 46,278 doses of vaccine have been given on P.E.I. as well as 9,768 second doses.

  • 27.4 per cent of adults over age 16 have received at least one dose.

  • 7.3 per cent of Island residents have received two doses.

P.E.I. pharmacies still have supplies of AstraZeneca-Oxford vaccine available to those 55 and older.

Some other provinces have begun offering that vaccine to younger Canadians, although P.E.I. has not. Morrison said that could change later this week as she receives new recommendations from the National Advisory Committee on Immunization.

P.E.I. is aiming for herd immunity, which officials say will require 80 per cent of the population to be vaccinated.

Dowling also reminded Islanders that P.E.I. health facilities such as hospitals are safe, and urged them to keep non-COVID-19-related health appointments.

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