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Manitoba Expands Vaccine Eligibility, Will Delay Second Dose

March 3, 2021 2:22 PM | News

Coronavirus Vaccine

A registered nurse prepares a dose of the Moderna COVID-19 vaccine in Halifax on Monday, Jan. 11, 2021. (THE CANADIAN PRESS/Andrew Vaughan-POOL)

WINNIPEG — Manitoba has expanded the eligibility criteria for who can receive the COVID-19 vaccine, while saying it will delay the second dose by up to four months.

Dr. Joss Reimer, medical lead for the Vaccine Implementation Task Force, says real-world data shows the effectiveness that the first single-dose can provide to an individual. The move will ensure more Manitobans receive their first dose quicker to protect against COVID-19.

The eligibility expansion on Wednesday now includes people aged 89 and older for the general population and 69 years and older for First Nation people. The province is also making it easier to understand who is eligible, with individuals now able to book appointments based on their age on the date of booking.

The province has administered 80,171 doses of vaccine to date, including 50,895 first doses and 29,276 second doses.

Immunization teams will visit about 120 congregate living facilities located throughout the province with an estimated 4,900 residents this week.

To date, approximately 500 medical clinics and pharmacies have applied to be part of the immunization campaign.

The province has received 124,840 vaccine doses so far. The newly-approved AstraZeneca-Oxford vaccine is expected in mid-March and could see Manitobans under 65-years-old receive the vaccine this month.

The goal is to immunize 20,000 people daily by April, with inoculations currently at 12,499 people per day.

Eligible Manitobans can call 1-844-626-8222 (1-844-MAN-VACC) to be screened to book a vaccination appointment.