British Columbia's health minister says the reduction in shipments of the Pfizer-BioNTech vaccine to Canada will have a significant effect, but just in the immediate period.
Adrian Dix says the shortage in supply affects vaccination plans through February and March.
He says the shortage will mean the province is expected to receive about half of the 50,000 doses it was supposed to get through that period.
Dix says this may mean that health officials will revisit the 35-day gap between providing the first and second doses of the vaccine.
The World Health Organization recommends the doses of vaccines be given 21 to 28 days apart, although provincial health officer Dr. Bonnie Henry has said B.C.'s decision for a 35-day gap is safe and would allow for more people to get their vaccine.
This is a defining moment in the pandemic. #HealthWorkers are exhausted, health systems are stretched & we’re seeing supplies of oxygen run dangerously low in some countries. We must #ACTogether as common humanity & rollout vaccines to health workers & those at highest risk. pic.twitter.com/UCVERZWxg7— Tedros Adhanom Ghebreyesus (@DrTedros) January 15, 2021
Dix says the premier and health officials will have further announcements about proceeding with vaccination plans in the coming week.
The number of British Columbians who received their first dose of a COVID-19 vaccine so far is 75,914.