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Manitoba Distributing Moderna Vaccine to Northern, Remote Communities

December 31, 2020 11:51 AM | News

Moderna Coronavirus Vaccine

Michelle Chester, director of employee health services at Northwell Health, holds a bottle containing the Moderna COVID-19 vaccine at Northwell Health’s Long Island Jewish Valley Stream hospital in Valley Stream, N.Y., on Monday, Dec. 21, 2020. (THE CANADIAN PRESS/Eduardo Munoz/Pool via AP)

WINNIPEG — Northern and remote communities in Manitoba are receiving 5,300 doses of the Moderna COVID-19 vaccine.

The province says it expects to receive 7,300 doses of the Moderna vaccine this week and will make 5,300 of those doses available to address immediate First Nation priorities.

“The successful collaboration between the province and First Nations health experts and representatives will ensure equitable access to vaccination treatments for all Manitobans,” said Dr. Joss Reimer, medical officer of health, Manitoba Health, Seniors and Active Living, and a member of Manitoba’s COVID-19 Vaccine Implementation Task Force.

“Our shared priority is to distribute vaccine doses, beginning with the Moderna vaccine to protect vulnerable First Nations populations in northern and remote regions of the province.”

Reimer says northern and remote communities are better fits for the Moderna vaccine than the Pfizer-BioNTech vaccine, which currently has special storage and transportation requirements.

Provincial planning has already been underway with experts in First Nations health and leaders from the Manitoba First Nations Pandemic Response Co-ordination Team and the Keewatinohk Inniniw Minoayawin (KIM) Inc. on the vaccine rollout in northern Manitoba. Other partners include Manitoba Chiefs (AMC), Manitoba Keewatinowi Okimakanak (MKO), and the Southern Chiefs’ Organization (SCO).

By March 31, 2021, Manitoba expects to have 228,000 doses of the Pfizer and Moderna vaccines available to residents.