Pfizer vaccine shortage will have 'significant' impact on B.C. in short term, says minister
Health Minister Adrian Dix looks on as Premier John Horgan discusses reopening the province's economy in phases in response to the COVID-19 pandemic during a press conference in the rotunda at Legislature in Victoria, B.C., in May 2020. THE CANADIAN PRESS/Chad Hipolito
VICTORIA -- British Columbia's health minister says the reduction in shipments of the Pfizer-BioNTech vaccine to Canada will have a significant effect, but just in the immediate period.
Adrian Dix says the shortage in supply affects vaccination plans through February and March.
He says the shortage will mean the province is expected to receive about half of the 50,000 doses it was supposed to get through that period.
Dix says this may mean that health officials will revisit the 35-day gap between providing the first and second doses of the vaccine.
The World Health Organization recommends the doses of vaccines be given 21 to 28 days apart, although provincial health officer Dr. Bonnie Henry has said B.C.'s decision for a 35-day gap is safe and would allow for more people to get their vaccine.
Dix says the premier and health officials will have further announcements about proceeding with vaccination plans in the coming week.
The number of British Columbians who received their first dose of a COVID-19 vaccine so far is 75,914.
This report by The Canadian Press was first published Jan. 15, 2021.