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Shortened COVID-19 vaccine intervals, supply issues creating 'mess' in Renfrew County

The region's medical officer of health says the health unit is only able to book appointments two weeks in advance at the moment.
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Renfrew County's top doctor feels the local vaccine rollout is making good progress but not without issues caused by the Ontario government.

Renfrew County District Health Unit (RCDHU) Medical Officer of Health Dr. Robert Cushman says 65 per cent of residents 18 and up have received one dose of a COVID-19 vaccine, but the province's decision to shorten intervals for second doses, along with ongoing supply issues have created a "mess" for the region's rollout campaign.

At the moment, Dr. Cushman says the health unit is only able to book appointments two weeks in advance.

He adds, those who have received AstraZeneca for their first dose are not eligible for their second shot yet, so he's recommending those residents hold off from trying to secure an appointment.

"Most of our folks were vaccinated in the second half of April, so we're not eligible until the middle or end of July, but these people have been showing up at clinics, they've been making appointments," the doctor tells CityNews Ottawa on Wednesday, June 9.

He is also urging residents to be cautious ahead of the province entering Step One of reopening on Friday. The doctor suggests, instead of flocking straight out to a patio, order take out and throw a backyard gathering of your own. 
 

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