Wellington-Dufferin-Guelph pauses vaccinating care home staff amid supply shortage

A nurse holds a phial of the Pfizer-BioNTech COVID-19 vaccine at Guy's Hospital in London, Tuesday, Dec. 8, 2020, as the U.K. health authorities rolled out a national mass vaccination program. (AP Photo/Frank Augstein, Pool)

Wellington-Dufferin-Guelph Public Health has paused giving first doses of COVID-19 vaccines to staff at long-term care and retirement homes in the region due to a supply shortage.

There is a shortage of Pfizer vaccines across the country, meaning health units will receive fewer doses than anticipated.

WDG Public Health announced the delay on Wednesday, saying it will continue to prioritizing long-term care and retirement residents, staff and caregivers when vaccines are available. Appointments will be rescheduled when more doses of the Pfizer vaccine are available and anyone waiting for a second dose will get it inside the 42-day window.

Moderna vaccine supply hasn't been affected, officials said.

To date, 4,407 people have received their first dose of the COVID-19 vaccine in the region. Public health hopes to have all retirement and care home residents vaccinated by Jan. 27.

Waterloo Region also announced plans to pause vaccine clinics because of the shortage.