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Manitoba Has Enough Vaccine Doses for Current Appointments, Health Officials Say

January 18, 2021 5:12 PM | The Canadian Press

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By The Canadian Press

Coronavirus Vaccine

Jennifer Cochrane, a public health nurse with Prairie Mountain Health in Virden, readies the first dose of the Pfizer-BioNTech COVID-19 vaccine during the first day of immunizations at the Brandon COVID-19 vaccination supersite at the Keystone Centre on Monday. (GOVERNMENT OF MANITOBA)

WINNIPEG — Manitoba health officials say the province has enough COVID-19 vaccine doses to honour all existing appointments and to start booking new ones.

Dr. Joss Reimer, a member of the provincial vaccine committee, says Manitoba is to receive about 28,000 fewer doses over the next four weeks.

That’s because Pfizer-BioNTech is cutting back on promised deliveries as it works to expand production.

Manitoba temporarily stopped booking new appointments on the weekend, but Reimer says bookings are to start again Tuesday, and there’s room for about 4,000 new appointments this week and next.

Manitoba’s chief public health officer is reporting 118 new COVID-19 cases and four deaths.

Dr. Brent Roussin says the province’s COVID-19 numbers are heading in the right direction, but any easing of restrictions on businesses and public gatherings will be done prudently.

“We’re going to start our reopening process. We need to do it in a continuous fashion, in a cautious fashion,” Roussin said Monday.

“We don’t want to have openings and then require closures again if our numbers get high, so we’re going to do so very cautiously.”

The province’s current set of public health orders, which includes tight restrictions on non-essential store openings and public gatherings, expires Friday.

The government put up an online survey last week to ask people what rules they would like to see eased, and Roussin said he’ll outline some details Tuesday.

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