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Hamilton halts COVID-19 vaccine rollout due to supply issues

The City of Hamilton has been instructed by the province to halt regular rollout of the COVID-19 vaccine amid temporary supply issues involving the Pfizer-BioNTech vaccine.

The city has been instructed to only continue vaccinating residents, staff, and essential care workers in local long-term care facilities and higher risk retirement homes, and pause the first doses set to be administered to any other individuals until further supply of the vaccine is available.

The pause comes due to supply issues announced by Pfizer last week, for which numerous countries – including Canada – will be seeing a temporary reduction in availability of vaccine doses due to the company’s efforts to scale up their European manufacturing facility.

Pfizer indicates that they should be able to catch up by the end of March this year, and public health does not believe the hiccup will impact the country’s COVID-19 vaccination timeline in any significant way, with intent for the vaccine to be widely available to any Canadian who wants it by September of this year.

Hamilton has already been actively vaccinating the city’s long-term care and retirement homes via a mobile vaccination limit. To date, the city says it has vaccinated roughly 10,000 Hamilton residents.

“The news of the temporary halt in administering first doses of COVID-19 vaccines is extremely frustrating,” said Hamilton’s Mayor Fred Eisenberger.

“Hamilton has administered over 10,000 vaccinations to-date and with the rising number of people testing positive for the virus in our community, it is imperative we complete the two-dose vaccination program for our most vulnerable populations. Now, it is up to each of us to do everything it takes to stop the spread of this virus and continue to follow public health advice.”

Read more on the city website.

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