WINNIPEG — Manitoba has lowered age eligibility for the COVID-19 vaccine to those 45 years of age and older.
Officials with Manitoba’s Vaccine Implementation Task Force say community-based eligibility expansion is now complete and the province will be returning to age-based eligibility as of today.
Manitobans can look forward to expanded vaccine eligibility regularly on Mondays, Wednesdays and Fridays as vaccine supplies and available appointments allow.
Appointments can be made as of 11:45 a.m. today by calling 1-844-MAN-VACC (1-844-626-8222) or visiting ProtectMB.ca.
Anyone aged 18 and up is expected to be eligible to book a vaccine appointment as of May 21 and receive a first dose by June 11. Those aged 12 and up are also expected to be able to book an appointment that same day, based on Health Canada’s approval on Wednesday of the lowered age for the Pfizer vaccine.
“It’s great news for Manitobans that we have more eligibility now in order to help us achieve herd immunity,” said Dr. Joss Reimer, medical lead of the province’s vaccine effort.
Reimer said the plan will go ahead, barring any unexpected issues raised by the National Advisory Council on Immunization.
The province says second dose appointments will begin once first dose eligibility is complete. Priority will be given to those who are immunocompromised or have specific priority medical conditions.
Eligibility will then be expanded based on when a person received their first dose.
The tentative date to begin booking second doses is May 22, with the expectation to have all second doses completed by the end of July.
New Gimli supersite
A second vaccine supersite in the Interlake-Eastern region will open later this month in Gimli.
The site will be located at the Gimli Recreation Centre, 45 Centennial Road. An exact opening date has yet to be determined.
To date, 510,022 doses of vaccine have been administered in Manitoba.