HURON-PERTH – In keeping with provincial direction, Huron Perth Public Health (HPPH) announced on Wednesday they will be extending the time interval for second doses of COVID-19 vaccines up to 16 weeks.
This will mean cancelling most currently booked appointments for second doses and offering more first doses. Those who are impacted will receive a phone call or email from HPPH.
The provincial transition to extend the interval between first and second dose came into effect today (March 10). According to a HPPH press release, extending the second dose interval means more individuals will be able to receive the first dose of vaccine.
HPPH will share more information about how to book second doses in the near future.
Not all second doses are being extended. The following groups will continue to receive their second dose of vaccine between 21 to 42 days: residents of long-term care homes, retirement homes, elder care lodges and assisted living facilities who are at the greatest risk of both exposure to COVID-19 and serious illness and death.
The decision to extend the time interval for a second dose follows the recommendations from the National Advisory Committee on Immunization. Current evidence with the Pfizer-BioNTech and Moderna vaccines shows high vaccine effectiveness against symptomatic disease, hospitalization and death from COVID-19 for two months after the first dose, including among older populations.
HPPH says that as of March 10, currently scheduled clinics are full. The health unit is adding more clinics as quickly as possible. They ask that you do not call your primary care provider or pharmacy for further information, as appointments will be booked through HPPH. The booking line phone number is 1-833-753-2098 and their website, www.hpph.ca/vaccine, will be updated regularly advising whether appointments are available.
“Please remember that vaccinations are only available to eligible groups. There will be enough vaccine for everyone. Anyone who wants to be vaccinated will have an opportunity to be vaccinated,” states the HPPH press release.
“Please know that once HPPH announces that you are eligible for the vaccine, you are always eligible; you will not miss your chance to be vaccinated as there will be more opportunities.”