Toronto to see up to 80 per cent drop in vaccine deliveries due to production slowdown, public health chief warns

At current rates of infection in Toronto, the number of COVID-19 patients could swamp ICU capacity before the end of January, the city’s medical officer of health warned Monday. Speaking at a board of health meeting, Dr. Eileen de Villa said Toronto has topped 75,000 cases since the epidemic began. The reproductive rate is currently at 1.01 per cent, meaning the outbreak remains in growth mode locally. This is despite the fact that mobility data from Jan. 3-9 shows residents seemed to be responding to public health appeals to remain indoors — they are staying home at levels close to March 2020 lockdown levels. “It will take time to bring this down,” said de Villa, referring to the reproductive rate, and adding that there is a lag between new behaviours and infection rates. De Villa also said that news Pfizer is temporarily slowing production of its vaccine while it retools factories to allow them to scale up production will have an impact on supply in Toronto. She said there will be a 20-80 per cent decrease in the delivery of the Pfizer vaccine to Toronto over the next four weeks. As a result, Toronto will focus on delivering second vaccines to the people who have already received the first one, she said. Toronto has been told to be ready to open a wide-scale vaccination clinic network by April 1. So far, the vaccination program in Toronto has focused on those most at risk: People in long-term-care homes and the people who care for them. De Villa said the province has not provided any specificity with regards to who comes after the most vulnerable have been vaccinated. Chief Matthew Pegg, head of the city’s immunization task force, said the supply of vaccine to Toronto is “a highly variable situation.” The city’s first vaccination clinic outside of a hospital setting opened at the Metro Toronto Convention Centre on Monday morning. It has been set up to vaccinate 250 health-care workers a day, and to serve as a proof-of-concept clinic, meaning it will be run and studied with an eye to creating a blueprint that can be used for operating other clinics across the province. Francine Kopun is a Toronto-based reporter covering city hall and municipal politics for the Star. Follow her on Twitter: @KopunF

Toronto to see up to 80 per cent drop in vaccine deliveries due to production slowdown, public health chief warns

At current rates of infection in Toronto, the number of COVID-19 patients could swamp ICU capacity before the end of January, the city’s medical officer of health warned Monday.

Speaking at a board of health meeting, Dr. Eileen de Villa said Toronto has topped 75,000 cases since the epidemic began. The reproductive rate is currently at 1.01 per cent, meaning the outbreak remains in growth mode locally.

This is despite the fact that mobility data from Jan. 3-9 shows residents seemed to be responding to public health appeals to remain indoors — they are staying home at levels close to March 2020 lockdown levels.

“It will take time to bring this down,” said de Villa, referring to the reproductive rate, and adding that there is a lag between new behaviours and infection rates.

De Villa also said that news Pfizer is temporarily slowing production of its vaccine while it retools factories to allow them to scale up production will have an impact on supply in Toronto. She said there will be a 20-80 per cent decrease in the delivery of the Pfizer vaccine to Toronto over the next four weeks.

As a result, Toronto will focus on delivering second vaccines to the people who have already received the first one, she said.

Toronto has been told to be ready to open a wide-scale vaccination clinic network by April 1.

So far, the vaccination program in Toronto has focused on those most at risk: People in long-term-care homes and the people who care for them. De Villa said the province has not provided any specificity with regards to who comes after the most vulnerable have been vaccinated.

Chief Matthew Pegg, head of the city’s immunization task force, said the supply of vaccine to Toronto is “a highly variable situation.”

The city’s first vaccination clinic outside of a hospital setting opened at the Metro Toronto Convention Centre on Monday morning. It has been set up to vaccinate 250 health-care workers a day, and to serve as a proof-of-concept clinic, meaning it will be run and studied with an eye to creating a blueprint that can be used for operating other clinics across the province.

Francine Kopun is a Toronto-based reporter covering city hall and municipal politics for the Star. Follow her on Twitter: @KopunF

Source : Toronto Star More