WINNIPEG — Provincial officials are asking Manitobans not to call the COVID-19 vaccination appointment line unless they are eligible.
A dedicated toll-free number to book appointments was shared with health-care staff on Friday but was also posted in news articles and on other websites. That number has since been removed from several publications.
“The province is reminding Manitobans to call only for an appointment if you are an eligible front-line health-care provider,” a bulletin read on Sunday.
The province says more than 100,000 phone calls have been made to the line, with some callers screened out for not meeting eligibility criteria.
“The province is asking for the co-operation of all Manitobans to review the eligibility criteria before calling to request an appointment as to not overwhelm booking systems and to reserve vaccination appointments for those who need it most.”
The first 900 appointments are being made available for the first priority group of health-care workers who meet specific criteria:
• Work in critical care units, born on or before Dec. 31, 1970
• Work in acute care facilities, born on or before Dec. 31, 1960
• Work in long-term care facilities, born on or before Dec. 31, 1960
• Assigned to COVID-19 immunization clinics
The first vaccine appointments are being scheduled for Wednesday, December 16.