Canada’s top doctor Theresa Tam says she’s asked the country’s vaccine advisory panel to look into the possibility of delaying second doses of COVID-19 vaccines.
Tam wants to know if there are advantages to delaying the second doses so more people can get their first doses.
The U.K. has announced they will delay administering second doses of Pfizer-BioNTech and AstraZeneca vaccines by up to 12 weeks.
The second dose of Pfizer shot is supposed to be given 21 days after the first, while it’s 28 days apart for the AstraZeneca doses.
The Pfizer vaccine is approved in Canada, but so far, AstraZeneca’s is not. However, Health Canada did greenlight Moderna’s COVID-19 last month.
In a written statement from Pfizer, the company says it’s up to local health authorities to make dosing decisions, but they don’t have any evidence that people will still be protected from the virus after the 21 days past getting their first dose.
Tam is sounding the alarm about how quickly the country’s COVID-19 case count is growing.
She says we’re seeing about 7,500 infections per day over the past week and it took Canada just over two weeks to go from 500,000 cases to 600,000.
It took five months for the country to record the first 100,000 cases.
Tam says we will continue to see high case counts until we are able to significantly interrupt the spread of the virus.
File photo courtesy of CPAC