Ontario administers 200,000 daily doses for first time as COVID-19 vaccine supply ramps up
People in the Peel region are photographed at the University of Toronto Mississauga campus for the COVID-19 vaccination clinic in Mississauga, Ont., on Thursday, May 6, 2021. THE CANADIAN PRESS/ Tijana Martin
Published Wednesday, June 16, 2021 1:28PM EDT
Clinics across Ontario doled out a record number of COVID-19 vaccine doses yesterday as the province uses newly flush supply to accelerate its vaccine rollout.
Ontario reported Wednesday that it administered more than 200,000 vaccine doses for the first time on Tuesday, getting 202,984 jabs into arms.
That’s roughly 18,000 more doses than on Monday and roughly 67,000 more than on Sunday.
The previous record was 199,951 doses administered on June 10.
While the number of daily doses administered has been slowly trending upward over the past few weeks, it varies from day to day, sometimes dropping or rising by tens of thousands from one day to the next.
Ontario Health Minister Christine Elliot said Monday that 75 per cent of all adults 18 and over in the province have now received at least one dose of a COVID-19 vaccine.
“As a majority of Ontario adults have received one dose, providing a strong level of protection from #COVID19, we are beginning to accelerate second doses for all Ontarians,” Elliott said.
MILLIONS OF DOSES ARRIVING IN ONTARIO
The milestones come as Ontario receives larger supplies of vaccines than ever before.
Ontario received 939,510 doses of the Pfizer vaccine this week and is expected to continue receiving weekly shipments of roughly that size through the summer.
Pfizer has been the only vaccine maker who has managed to deliver steady supply to Canada over the past two months, with Ontario having received close to 10 million doses so far.
But this week, the province also received a major boost of Moderna supply, with 1,123,780 doses. And next week Moderna is scheduled to deliver more than 2,100,000 doses to Ontario, marking a major upswing from a supplier whose deliveries have so far been relatively small and sporadic.
The vaccines from both manufacturers use mRNA technology and have been shown to be highly effective against most strains of the virus so far according to Canadian health officials.
The influx of vaccines has allowed the province to roll out second doses much more quickly than first doses. While the province originally spaced out doses at 16 weeks in order to extend a basic level of coverage to as many people as possible, appointments have been brought forward by months.
On Monday, Ontario allowed anyone who received a vaccine dose by May 9 to book an early second dose.
The sudden surge in eligible vaccine seekers has caused long lineups at many pop-up vaccination sites around the GTA, with some people reporting wait times of five hours or more in order to try and get a second shot.
The City of Toronto added 60,000 new appointments at its mass vaccination sites on Monday morning to accommodate the added demand. The appointments were added to the booking system at 8 a.m. and were quickly snatched up within an hour.
The city said Tuesday that it will be adding 30,000 appointments to its mass vaccination clinics next week for people to receive the Moderna vaccine.