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Canada, millions of doses arrive and more are thrown away

OTTAWA – More doses of vaccine arrive in Canada, but at the same time others are thrown away. The situation of immunization in the country is on the verge of paradox. 

In fact, on the one hand, the federal government announces the arrival, this week, of more than 2.3 million doses of the Pfizer-BioNTech vaccine, in addition to the more than 66 million doses received since the beginning of the campaign and sufficient to immunize fully all eligible Canadians; on the other hand, Ontario pharmacists warn that thousands of doses of Moderna are about to expire and risk being thrown away if the unvaccinated do not show up for their immunization appointment. But let’s go in order.

As of Tuesday, the federal government had 6.7 million vaccines in its national reserve, an amount that provinces and territories can draw from if they need more doses. Another 2.3 million doses will arrive this week.

An expedition coming as Canada’s Chief Public Health Officer Dr. Theresa Tam warns the country could be headed for a fourth wave of Covid-19 if restrictions are lifted before vaccination rates rise. Speaking to reporters on Friday, Dr Tam said an updated national model for the pandemic’s trajectory suggests that the highly contagious Delta variant could lead a fourth wave of infections. “The trajectory will depend on the increase in vaccination coverage but also on the timing and extent of the reopening of the activities”.

“The updated model shows that if we maintain current community-level contacts, we should expect to see a moderate increase in cases,” while contagion growth could become faster “if reopenings continue before enough people are completely gone. immunized. We could expect to see a strong recovery by the end of the summer”, she added.

Meanwhile, we said, Ontario pharmacists say that thousands of doses of the Moderna vaccine will expire soon and that the supply could be wasted if people not yet vaccinated do not show up for injections. Ontario Pharmacists Association CEO Justin Bates said some doses of Moderna will expire in these days and, in general, the supply must still be consumed within 30 days. “A slowdown in vaccine launch in Ontario and public preference for Pfizer-BioNTech vaccine have made it difficult for pharmacists to use Moderna doses,” Bates said, adding: “It’s a terrible situation for them (the pharmacists). They’ve done everything they can to make sure there’s no waste”.

Bates’ statements come after a health unit in London, Ontario asked everyone to roll up their sleeves before more than 21,300 doses of Moderna expire in two weeks. “The next two weeks (are) critical”, Bates emphasized. Criticisms above all because in recent days vaccinations have dropped and there is a “hard core” of people who are reluctant to undergo immunization: a reluctance perhaps also due to the daily data on infections, from which it emerges that the pandemic does not even seem to have stopped in the face of vaccines.

But the medical chiefs continue to make appeals. “We don’t want this vaccine to go to waste, so we ask people who are not fully vaccinated to join us in the fight against Covid-19 and consider getting a first or second dose of Moderna”, said Dr Chris Mackie, Medical Officer of Health and Chief Executive Officer of the Middlesex-London Health Unit. Meanwhile, public health units are working to minimize the now almost certain waste of vaccines and, to this end, are looking for areas within the province where expiring doses can be used quickly. At this point, we might as well give them to those who no longer have them.

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