Ontario revises 2nd vaccine dose timeline for transplant and some cancer patients

Source: City News


The Ontario government confirms it has revised the second vaccine dose timeline for some immunocompromised people.

The Vaccine Clinical Advisory Group advised the Ontario government to follow the recommended dose intervals for vaccines as suggested by the manufacturer — generally translating into a three-week interval between doses, for transplant and certain cancer patients.

The Advisory Group, made up of clinical and public health physicians, found that mortality rates were very high for transplant patients who were diagnosed with COVID-19. There are approximately 12,000 solid organ recipients in Ontario, but this change in timeline will also apply to certain stem cell transplant recipients as well.

Until the change, second doses were being delayed by up to four months after the first needle.

A study released earlier this month from Johns Hopkins University and published in The Journal of The American Medical Association suggests that the first dose isn’t proving effective for organ transplant recipients. It states that “patients may remain at higher early risk for COVID-19 despite vaccination.”

A second recently released study, which has yet to be peer reviewed, concludes that delaying the second booster shot of the COVID-19 vaccine could leave cancer patients “wholly or partially unprotected.”

The Vaccine Advisory Group says that individuals with certain blood cancers and those with malignant solid tumours receiving chemotherapy should also receive a second dose of vaccine within three weeks.

Extended times between doses for older patients will remain in place.

“The Vaccine Clinical Advisory Group strongly support the evidence-based informed public health approach of delaying the administration of the second doses to maximize the number of individuals receiving a first does of vaccine at the time of constrained vaccine supply,” the report reads.

Although the panel acknowledges that age is a driving factor of mortality in COVID19 cases, “in the context of  constrained vaccine supply, the extended dose internal is believed to be appropriate for older individuals.”

The Advisory Group says it will reevaluate the interval between doses as more evidence becomes available and vaccine-supply forecasts are updated.

“This is really exciting news for us,” UHN’s Dr. Deepali Kumar told an online audience in a Monday Q&A session with transplant recipients. “This just happened on Friday at 10 p.m.,” Kumar says of the release of the Vaccine Advisory Group’s report. “Just have some patience as we work through some issues. We have to figure out how to  change the intervals in our booking systems and so on,” she warns.

The new time intervals in vaccines take effect immediately.


Vaccine Clinical Advisory Group recommendations here

See page 5 for solid tumours


  • Yanic Jablonski
    April 8, 2021 at 1:21 am

    Got my Pfizer vaccine 06-Apr-2021. Dose #2 scheduled 27-Apr-2021.

    No side effects. Clearcell mRCC.

    Get your shots.

    • dean novick
      April 19, 2021 at 3:33 pm

      Has your kidney been removed ?

      • Susan B. Wilsonn
        May 20, 2021 at 4:02 pm

        I have a letter from my Oncologist regarding getting my second shot of soon. Right now my second shot is due July 21 at 11:30AM at St. Catharines Seymour- Hannah Arena. I have only one kidney now and on immunotherapy with Pembrolizumab. My first shot was March 31 at the same arena.

  • Brian Terry
    June 3, 2021 at 1:45 pm

    Hi Susan, I have had a kidney and ureter and bladder cuff removed removed. Two years of never ending treatments .I have had multiple BCG,BCG with interferon and Gemcitabine. Finally cancer free now approaching 5 months. I never thought I would be free of it. I hope for you you can be free of it too ,keep the faith it can happen. I have the 4 month wait and am due for second dose in August very disappointing. I will try to move it up but I received no doctor letter I guess because I am free of it. I am tested every 3 months as I have high grade cancer and outlook is not usually very good but at the moment I am hopeful. I wish you the very best. Regards, Brian

Leave a Reply

Do NOT follow this link or you will be banned from the site!