Ongoing vaccine supply issues has forced the clinic to cease operations until further notice
A COVID-19 immunization clinic proof-of-concept site opened by The City of Toronto at the Metro Toronto Convention Centre (MTCC) has been forced to shut down just two days after opening, due to ongoing supply issues with the Pfizer vaccine.
The City of Toronto released a statement Monday stating they had initially been ordered by the province to pause operations after Friday, Jan. 22. But on Tuesday night, they announced that due to further COVID-19 vaccine supply shortages declared by the federal government, the province adjusted the order to an immediate pause.
The operation of the clinic depends entirely on vaccine supply — something beyond the control of both the city and province.
While those being vaccinated at the MTCC clinic have received the Moderna COVID-19 vaccine, the person in charge of Canada’s vaccine rollout, Maj.-Gen. Dany Fortin, has confirmed the country will not receive any doses of the Pfizer vaccine next week due to delivery delays.
“Our entire shipment is deferred,” Fortin said during a press update Tuesday.
For Ontario, these delays have created a situation where some of the Moderna supply now needs to be reallocated to other parts of the province.
The MTCC clinic was designed to help test and adjust immunization setup in non-hospital settings, in order to provide a “playbook” that the province can use to ensure safety and increase efficiency when establishing other immunization clinics once the vaccine becomes available to the general public.
Those set to receive the vaccine at the MTCC clinic this week were workers who support individuals experiencing homelessness. At a press briefing on Monday, Toronto Fire Chief Matthew Pegg said these workers will still be able to get their second dose within the proper time frame.
The clinic is set to resume vaccinations once it gets approved by the province. When fully operational with a steady supply of doses, the intention is to vaccinate 2,500 people per day.