Alberta may extend time between doses of COVID-19 vaccines

Alberta may follow British Columbia’s lead and lengthen the time between administering first and second doses of COVID-19 vaccines, Health Minister Tyler Shandro says.

Emerging evidence from the United Kingdom, B.C., and Quebec suggests the first dose of the two vaccines currently being distributed in Alberta can provide 90-per-cent protection against the novel coronavirus that causes COVID-19, and that protection can last for months.

Alberta health officials and physicians are now reviewing that new evidence and examining whether the province can further delay second shots, Shandro said at a Tuesday news conference.

WATCH | Alberta Health Minister Tyler Shandro said Alberta is considering following B.C.’s lead when it comes to vaccines

Alberta may extend time between doses of COVID-19 vaccines

CBC News Edmonton

3 hours ago

0:51

Alberta may follow British Columbia’s lead and lengthen the time between administering first and second doses of COVID-19 vaccines, Health Minister Tyler Shandro says.0:51

“It’s going to give us an opportunity to get more people vaccinated more quickly, which is going to be fantastic news for Albertans,” he said.

Manufacturers’ instructions say the Pfizer-BioNTech vaccine doses should be given 21 days apart and Moderna doses should be 28 days apart.

The National Advisory Committee on Immunization said prolonging the wait to 42 days is acceptable in places where there’s high community transmission, strain on the health-care system and limited vaccine supply.

Vaccine shipments to Canada were significantly delayed in February.

On Monday, B.C.’s provincial health officer said new evidence was prompting that province to extend the wait between doses for up to four months. That change, plus Health Canada’s approval of a third vaccine, manufactured by AstraZeneca, would allow everyone in B.C. who wants a first dose to receive one by the end of July.

Shandro said an announcement is coming in Alberta on the new approach to recommended times between doses.

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