National Post (Latest Edition)

Second dose can be delayed if supplies short, panel says


Canada’s national panel of vaccine experts says people eligible to get a COVID-19 vaccine should get both doses on schedule but if vaccine supplies are limited and the pandemic situation is dire, delaying the second dose a few more weeks is acceptable. The two COVID-19 vaccines approved for use both require two doses, with Pfizer and Biontech’s vaccine label requiring two doses given 21 days apart, and Moderna’s needing two doses 28 days apart. In new recommenda­tions issued late Tuesday, the National Advisory Committee on Immunizati­on said every effort should be made to follow those dosing schedules but notes there can be exceptions, particular­ly when vaccine supplies are so hard to come by and the spread of the virus in a given jurisdicti­on is rapid. The World Health Organizati­on has also suggested waiting up to six weeks after the first dose is an acceptable compromise. The U.K. is delaying second doses up to 12 weeks, and Denmark by six weeks. Germany is among the countries also considerin­g delaying the second dose.

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