Ontario COVID-19 vaccinations only half of what was reported because of government data error
TORONTO -- The Ontario government says it has only fully vaccinated half the people it had originally reported due to a government data error.
According to the Ministry of Health, rather than providing data on the number of people who have been fully vaccinated, which would require two doses of either the Pfizer or Moderna vaccine, officials "inadvertently provided data on the number of doses administered to achieve full vaccination."
"As a result, the number of people who have been fully vaccinated is half of what is currently listed," a statement from the Ministry of Health said.
The government has updated since updated the online vaccine data to reflect the accurate total number people fully vaccinated, which as of Thursday morning is 55,286.
On Wednesday, the government was reporting the number of fully vaccinated people was more than 96,000.
Later in the day, Ontario’s health minister said that Canada may receive about a half a million fewer doses of Pfizer’s COVID-19 vaccine than what was promised in the first quarter of the year.
Canada was initially expected to get about four million doses of the Pfizer vaccine by the end of February or early March, but Health Minister Christine Elliott said the Ontario government has been told the country will get about 3.5 million.
"So we are short about half a million doses,” Elliott said. “However, we are going to continue with our program. It is not going to affect what we are going to do. We are going to continue to support our most vulnerable.”
Vaccine shortages have forced the Ontario government to refocus their distribution plan. Earlier this week they said that first dose vaccinations will be exclusively to long-term care home residents as well as high-risk retirement and First Nation elder care home residents.
Ontario Premier Doug Ford has been vocal about his frustrations in Pfizer, suggesting that he would be willing to drive to the United States to pick up the shots. On Thursday, he reiterated the need for a Canadian-made COVID-19 vaccine.
"We need to explore every avenue possible, no matter if it is asking Health Canada to speed up the approvals on the... Johnson and Johnson vaccine or the AstraZeneca. We need the approval as quickly as possible. Pfizer has let us down tremendously," Ford said on Thursday.
“Health Canada please. We need your help. Please approve these. These have been approved other places around the world.
With files from CP24 Staff