P.E.I. preparing to offer more vaccine appointments after Pfizer increase
Island could see an extra 4,000 doses per week arrive, says chief of nursing
P.E.I's chief of nursing says a boost in shipments of the Pfizer shot will help clinics to ramp up vaccination efforts in the coming weeks.
Marion Dowling said the Island could see about 16,000 doses arrive each month. It won't have exact numbers until early next week.
"We've been preparing for a surge in doses. This is good news today that it's coming sooner," she said.
Moderna announced it will send far fewer doses to Canada than expected, as it grapples with manufacturing issues in Europe.
It was expected to send 1.2 million more doses this month, but announced on Friday that shipment would be reduced to 650,000 shots.
But the same day as the Moderna delay, Pfizer shared plans to send millions more doses of its shot in May, June and beyond.
Dowling said the Pfizer increase means an additional 4,000 shots will be available to P.E.I. clinics each week — allowing for more appointment slots.
"We're ready and waiting for the doses to get here, we have been all along," she said.
The AstraZeneca vaccine is currently available at 12 community pharmacies for people over the age of 55, while the Moderna and Pfizer shots are being offered at clinics.
Islanders will receive a text or automated phone message to confirm their second-dose appointments.
Dowling said those slots will be booked quicker if the province has additional supply.
"I'm not concerned about the uptake of vaccines on the Island. I think we're seeing people very interested and very keen, and wanting to receive their vaccine," she said.
P.E.I. booked more than 2,600 people online on Thursday alone.
The Canadian Medical Association called for an end to per-capita distribution on Friday, instead asking the federal government to allocate shots based on population.
Dowling said the province would be "concerned" if its numbers were reduced.
"We've been living under the same public health measures and being quite careful," she said.
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With files from CBC News: Compass