Vaccination efforts to temporarily cease at Western Fair because of supply issues
LONDON, ONT. -- The Middlesex-London Health Unit (MLHU) along with London Health Sciences Centre (LHSC) will temporarily suspend COVID-19 vaccinations at the Western Fair Agriplex because of supply problems.
The last shot will be administered there on Friday.
“The closing of the Agriplex due to vaccine supply shortages is disappointing, but temporary. We continue to advocate to the COVID-19 Vaccine Task Force for adequate supplies and we recognize that we are at the very early stages of the vaccination program in this community”, said Neil Johnson, Chief Operating Officer of London Health Sciences Centre in a news release.
MLHU, medical officer of heath Dr. Chris Mackie, says they will continue to vaccinate eligible long-term care home residents with remaining stock by the end of the week.
“It’s a brief pause. It really is a road-bump on the way. This campaign is moving well and will have all residents at long-term-care to be vaccinated by the end of the weekend.”
The Agriplex suspension comes as London-Fanshawe MPP, Teresa Armstrong raises questions of reports that not all residents at LTCH will get vaccinated, and those who previously had COVID-19 and recovered are no longer eligible for a dose.
‘“It’s a very difficult position that the MLHU has been put in and they shouldn’t have had to make those decisions. We should have had enough vaccines to prioritize the most vulernable in our society and unfortunately thats not happening and people are outraged.”
Dr. Mackie says that vaccinations have to go to those without any COVID-19 immunity.
“For people that have had COVID-19 before, they do have some immunity…There have been cases of reinfection but they are very very rare…In the context of having very scarce supply of vaccines, we absolutely have to give the vaccines to those who don’t have any immunity at all.”
Effective immediately, all second doses of vaccine for those who received a first dose will be rescheduled to 42 days from the date they received their first dose.
“Since the date and amount of the next shipment of vaccine is unknown at this time, eligibility criteria must be adjusted and second doses of vaccine rescheduled in order to ensure those who are most vulnerable continue to get vaccinated,” says Mackie.
“While the delivery date for the next local shipment of the Pfizer BioNtech vaccine still remains unclear, our goal remains to vaccinate all long-term care home residents by the end of this week.”
Since Dec. 23, 9,516 doses of the vaccine have been given to healh care workers at the Agriplex. The MLHU has also distributed 1,497 doses to long-term care homes since Jan 11.
On Tuesday, the federal government announced Canada would receive zero Pfizer vaccine deliveries during the last week of January.
Pfizer is increasing its European manufacturing capacity, a move that officials say will impact the vaccine’s production for a short period.