The Ontario government said it has cut back on administering the COVID-19 vaccine due to staff shortages during the Christmas holidays.
According to the government’s COVID-19 webpage, 10,756 doses have been administered since the afternoon of Christmas Eve. In an update from the province’s Ministry of Health on Monday afternoon, 12,148 doses have been administered since noon.
“As with any holiday season, ensuring proper staff coverage can be challenging,” the Ministry of Health said in a statement. “Schedules for vaccination clinics were adjusted over the holidays to ensure that there was no impact on staffing levels within the long-term care homes or for the hospitals operating the clinics.”
The Ontario government was allocated about 90,000 dozes of the Pfizer-BioNTech vaccine from the federal government which is expected to be delivered by the end of the month. Every person vaccinated is required to receive two doses, 21 days apart.
The doses are being delivered to 19 hospital sites across Ontario which are equipped to administer the shots, the government said.
Ontario’s Ministry of Health said approximately five hospitals operated clinics on Sunday with about 10 clinics on Monday and all of the clinics will be back up and running to give the COVID-19 shots on Tuesday. Clinics were closed on Christmas Day and Boxing Day.
“Given the opportunity, I’d gladly sign up to vaccinate. I know many other health workers who feel the same,” one physician said on Twitter. “Where there is a will, there is a way.”
Another health-care worker tweeted: “I would gladly volunteer my time. Any time, any day. As would many other health care professionals.”
Health Canada approved the Pfizer-BioNTech vaccine on Dec. 9 and the Moderna vaccine was approved on Dec. 23.
Staff and health-care workers at hospitals, retirement and long-term care homes are being prioritized for the first rounds of inoculations.
It was hospital sites administering the vaccines that asked for the slightly amended schedule, recognizing challenges with holiday staffing and the need to care for patients. Personally, I’m happy to listen to frontline partners. In any event, Ontario will be back at it tomorrow. https://t.co/uyHsqVglEq
— Travis Kann (@traviskann) December 28, 2020