Pfizer vaccine doses being reduced in Manitoba again

WINNIPEG — For the second time, Manitoba’s allotment of Pfizer vaccine doses is being reduced due to supply chain issues – now health officials are trying to find out how the reductions will affect Manitoba’s vaccine rollout.

In a statement released on Tuesday, Manitoba’s Health Minister Heather Stefanson said the province has been told the number of Pfizer vaccine doses coming to the province from the federal government and the manufacturer is being reduced again.

“What we know so far is this: our planning had been based on 18,720 doses between now and the end of the month. As of today, that projection has been cut to in half, with further reductions expected in February,” Stefanson said.

“Our province is working hard to plan and prepare for this massive immunization campaign but the level of uncertainty caused by missed or reduced vaccine shipments will affect our work in the weeks ahead but please be assured, we are fully equipped to adjust to the changing circumstances.”

Dr. Joss Reimer, medical officer of health and member of Manitoba’s COVID-19 Vaccine Implementation Task Force, said the province is reviewing the vaccine reductions, and will look at how many first-dose appointments can be booked. 

She said the province needs to confirm how many second doses are required and how Manitoba’s vaccine rollout will be affected by what she called a “very unpredictable supply in the weeks ahead.”

“We will not sacrifice safety for speed,” Reimer said in a statement. “At this point, our call centre remains open for eligible Manitobans to book their appointment but this may change based on the number of vaccines we receive.”

Reimer said the task force will release more information as soon as possible. 

This is a developing story. More to come.

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