As Canadians begin receiving the coronavirus vaccines, the government is advising recipients of the Pfizer vaccine that they will have to wait four months between their first and second dose.
The move was ahead scratcher for many observers, as no data exists to show the efficacy of waiting four months before receiving the second dose of the vaccine. The data instead suggests that the interval between the first and second shot should be just three weeks.
Now, the National Advisory Committee on Immunization (NACI) has admitted that the reason that Canadians are expected to wait four months between doses is because of the government's failure to acquire an adequate amount of vaccines for Canadians.
Conservative MP Michelle Rempel Garner asked the head of Canada's immunization task force whether the recommendation would have been made had the government procured more vaccines, to which she replied "of course not."
"We would not have needed to extend the interval" had Canada had enough vaccines, she said.
As Rempel noted, the interval was chosen purely on the basis of delivery schedule and had no grounding in scientific data. Rempel was left speechless by the revelation, saying only that she was "shocked."
Rempel contrasted the Canadian government's failure to acquire vaccines to the success seen in the United States, where all Americans will be able to receive both doses of the vaccine by May.
Rempel summarized the finding as a "population-based experiment on a non-data-riven dosing interval because we failed on procurement."
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