Dr. Kieran Moore, medical officer of health for KFL&A, says to expect about twice as many COVID-19 vaccine doses to be coming to the Kingston region in the second half of May.
This means starting May 17, KFL&A will be receiving 9,360 doses of Pfizer a week. Moore says this number should be maintained afterwards into June and perhaps later.
“Pfizer is the only product that we have confidence in the supply chain for May. We have had no guarantee of any other product arriving in KFLA, mainly from supply chain issues,” he said.
Moore says starting May 3, Kingston will receive more doses than it ever has before, with 5,850 doses delivered a week for two weeks, which will then grow to 9,360 doses a week starting March 17.
The region’s baseline Pfizer shipments have been around 4,800 weekly, but from April 26 until May 2, about 1,000 of those doses a week will be rerouted to hot spots in need.
The new promised Pfizer doses will be shared across the region and delivered at its two mass immunization clinics — the INVISTA and Strathcona Paper centres — as well as through Kingston Health Sciences Centre and some primary care providers.
“This week, we’re also training our primary care partners, given that we’ll have over 9,000 doses a month coming in at the end of May and heading into June, we’ll be working with our primary care partners who traditionally have worked out of the memorial arena and training them to use the Pfizer product,” he said.
Currently, only those 60 and up can receive Pfizer vaccines, but Moore expects the age group to be lowered to 55 in the near future.
But the picture is less clear when it comes to access to other vaccines in the region.
“It’s unknown for the AstraZeneca product and the Johnson and Johnson product how much we’ll have heading in for the rest of April and May. And we await any further notification from the ministry regarding those two products,” Moore said.
Currently, those 40 and up can be vaccinated at Ontario pharmacies, which are offering AstraZeneca. But Moore says the supply of AstraZeneca locally is running low, and it’s unclear when another shipment will arrive in the region.
Moore said he expects a smaller shipment of Moderna to arrive in the near future, which will be used to give second-dose vaccinations to high-risk individuals.
He also said the KFL&A region will continue to give a portion of its vaccines to hot spots through June, but this will be over and above the 9,360 doses promised.
“It’s going to take a long time for Peel, York, Toronto, Ottawa, to be able to provide vaccine in those high-risk neighbourhoods,” he said.
As of Tuesday, 40 per cent of the KFL&A community has received a first dose, Moore said with these promised Pfizer shipments, the region should be up to 50 per cent vaccinated by early June.
He said with all community partners at the ready, the KFL&A region could vaccinate up to 10,000 people a day if supply allowed for it, but he’s happy with the numbers promised so far.
“We know that we have a very high immunization rate relative to other areas of the province and we want the other areas of the province to catch up and to be best protected, given that they’re even more vulnerable in our community,” he said.
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