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Alberta intends to give 2nd dose of COVID-19 vaccine within 42-days, despite uncertainty around supply

Last Updated Jan 27, 2021 at 7:22 pm MDT

Amanda Parsons, a registered nurse on staff at the Northwood Care facility, administers a dose of the Moderna vaccine to Ann Hicks in Halifax on Monday, Jan. 11, 2021. In a bid to control COVID-19, the federal government plans to make free vaccines available to everyone who lives in Canada over the course of 2021. THE CANADIAN PRESS/Andrew Vaughan-Pool

EDMONTON (660 NEWS) — Health officials don’t plan to extend the intervals between the first and second dose for COVID-19 vaccines past the initial 42-day mark, despite not knowing if they’ll have enough supply in the coming weeks.

The province has its allocation for next week but beyond that remains unclear.

“While I can’t say with certainty at this point, what I can say is that everything possible will be done to provide that second dose to all who had the first dose within that 42-day period,” Dr. Deena Hinshaw, Alberta’s Chief Medical Officer of Health, said Wednesday.

Pfizer-BioNTech and Moderna Vaccines require two shots within a few weeks to be fully effective. The interval is 21 days for Pfizer while Moderna is 28 days.

The National Advisory Council on Immunization (NACI) says the interval between first and second doses can be extended up to 42 days.

It was announced last week, that Pfizer would not be sending shipments of its vaccine to Canada this week because of ongoing work to increase production at its plant in Belgium.

The delay in vaccines forced Alberta to cancel first-dose appointments for eligible health-care workers and postpone plans to expand vaccination to all seniors over the age of 75 in the community and individuals over the age of 65 in First Nations communities and Metis Settlements around the province.

A total of 101,123 doses of the COVID-19 vaccine have been given to Albertans and 11,362 have been fully immunized with two doses.

Alberta Health Services have seen 32 adverse events following immunization.