Two more community clinics closed as Toronto's top doctor says vaccine supply is 'presenting a challenge'
Published Wednesday, April 14, 2021 11:46AM EDT
Last Updated Wednesday, April 14, 2021 4:43PM EDT
Another two COVID-19 vaccination clinics in Toronto have been shuttered amid supply issues.
A clinic at Thorncliffe Park Community Hub that was being operated by Michael Garron Hospital did not schedule any appointments for this week and has now formally announced that it will not be taking appointments until the supply issues are resolved.
North York General Hospital has also announced that its community clinic at Seneca College will close as of April 17 and won’t reopen until April 26 due to the “temporary slow down.”
The latest clinic closures come one day after the Scarborough Health Network confirmed that it would have to cancel 10,000 appointments booked for community clinics at Centennial College and Centenary hospital between Wednesday and Monday.
It is believed that the widespread cancellations are the result of a slowdown in vaccine deliveries from Moderna.
Ontario was supposed to receive 303,000 doses of the Moderna vaccine last week but now isn’t expected to receive that shipment until April 19.
The province has also said that another shipment of approximately 448,000 vaccine doses of the Moderna vaccine that was supposed to arrive between April 19 and 25 will not be in its hands until the end of the month.
“Vaccine supply for Toronto is presenting a challenge at present. The volumes we need are arriving at a slower and less predictable rate than we expected, impacting clinics across the system,” Toronto’s Medical Officer of Health Dr. Eileen de Villa said during a briefing on Wednesday afternoon. “Appointment booking this week and inquiries about the mobile and pop up clinics in the hotspot areas suggest people are eager to be vaccinated and this is good news. The challenge is supply.”
The slowdown in the delivery of Moderna vaccines is affecting the dozens of clinics being operated by hospital and community partners in Toronto but it has not affected the nine city-run clinics, which exclusively administer Pfizer vaccines.
Fire Chief Matthew Pegg, who is leading the city’s emergency response, told reporters on Wednesday that those clinics all rely on a “just-in-time” model which means that they only book appointments one week out to ensure they have sufficient vaccine supply.
He said that each clinic is “fully booked” on a daily basis and continues to operate “smoothly and efficiently.”
“We are expecting another shipment Monday and there no indication there are any issues with it. If that shipment were to be delayed yes we would have to respond to that,” he said.
Ontario has administered more than 3.4 million doses of COVID-19 vaccines to date, including 112,817 on Tuesday.
De Villa, however, said that Ontarians must redouble their efforts to follow the public health guidance until such time as “vaccinations reach a level in the population where they provide a strong firewall against COVID-19.”
“There may be bumps in the road but at the end of the day everyone who wants to be vaccinated will be vaccinated,” she said.