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Second-Dose Vaccine Appointments Extended Up to 112 Days as Effort to Get Vaccine into More Arms Ramps Up

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Second dose appointments to receive the COVID-19 vaccine are being rescheduled for the majority of those who received their first dose of vaccine at the Western Fair District Agriplex and at the Mount Brydges COVID-19 vaccination clinic. Second dose appointments that had been scheduled to happen as soon as tomorrow, will now take place up to 112 days from the date the first dose was administered.

The updated schedule affects everyone who received their first dose of vaccine, except those who live in long-term care or retirement homes, whose second dose appointment was scheduled on or after March 10th. This includes more than 8,500 clients who were vaccinated at the Agriplex and 1,700 who were vaccinated in Mount Brydges. Individuals whose appointments are being rescheduled will be notified by text message or email, based on how they booked their first appointment.

“The data shows that the Pfizer BioNtech vaccine is 92% effective after two weeks have passed since the initial dose and that extending the time between doses to 16 weeks doesn’t have a detrimental effect on the protection the vaccine provides,” says Dr. Chris Mackie, Medical Officer of Health with the Middlesex-London Health Unit. “We are still facing a limited supply of vaccine and it makes sense to provide effective protection against COVID-19 to as many people as we can, even if it means extending the time between doses.”

The decision to reschedule second dose appointments was made after the Middlesex-London Health Unit was notified late yesterday by Ontario’s Chief Medical Officer of Health to extend the time between doses to 16 weeks. In a memo sent to all Medical Officers of Health, Dr. David Williams indicated that extending the time between doses would increase the number of individuals benefiting from a first dose of vaccine in the context of a limited COVID-19 vaccine supply. The recommendations were also in line with recommendations from the National Advisory Committee on Immunization (NACI) to extend the time interval of the second dose of COVID-19 vaccines up to 16 weeks.

Between December 23, 2020 and March 8, 2021, 44,751 doses of vaccine have been provided at the Agriplex and Mount Brydges vaccination clinics. Efforts to administer the vaccine to adults 80 years of age and older, Indigenous adults 55 years of age and older and to very high priority healthcare workers began on March 4th.

Visit www.healthunit.com/covid-19-vaccine for the latest COVID-19 vaccine information.

Media Contacts:
Dan Flaherty, Communications Manager, Middlesex-London Health Unit, 519-617-0570 or
519-663-5317, extension 2469

Spokesperson:
Dr. Chris Mackie, Medical Officer of Health, Middlesex-London Health Unit