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Ontario sees 994 new COVID-19

Ontario reported another 994 cases of COVID-19 on Thursday, as the government works to update its immunization rollout following updated guidance that the time between doses for some vaccines can safely be pushed up to four months.

Public health units administered 30,409 doses of vaccine yesterday, a second straight record day in the province. A total of 268,118 people have received both shots and there are now immunization appointments being offered to residents aged 80 and older in at least 10 public health units.

Yesterday afternoon, the National Advisory Committee on Immunization (NACI) issued a revised direction that the interval between shots for both the Pfizer and Moderna vaccines can be extended to 16 weeks. Clinical trials have shown the Pfizer and Moderna vaccines to be up to 92 per cent effective after a single dose.

The move will allow more people to get a first dose more quickly.

In a statement, the Ontario Ministry of Health said it welcomed the new recommendations from NACI.

“This will allow Ontario to rapidly accelerate its vaccine rollout and get as many vaccines into arms as quickly as possible and, in doing so, provide more protection to more people,” a ministry spokesperson said in an email.

The province’s COVID-19 vaccine task force is now re-evaluating its immunization strategy as it awaits to hear more from the federal government about how many doses of the AstraZeneca vaccine to expect in coming weeks. Health Canada approved the third vaccine last week.

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