By The Canadian Press
WINNIPEG — The Manitoba government is allowing more people to get a third dose of a COVID-19 vaccine.
The province is suggesting a third dose for all health-care workers who have direct contact with patients in areas including hospitals, care homes, pharmacies and addictions treatment centres.
It is also allowing anyone who has received only the viral-vector vaccines, such as Oxford-AstraZeneca, to get a third dose with an mRNA vaccine such as Moderna or Pfizer-BioNTech.
Dr. Joss Reimer, medical lead of Manitoba’s vaccination effort, outlined the changes in a memo to medical professionals and said the third dose should be given at least six months after the second.
She says the changes are based on data from clinical trials and observational studies.
Covid-19 vaccines are widely available in Manitoba, and Doctors Manitoba has a website that allows people to search for a physician in their area with doses on hand.
“Emerging evidence suggests that immunity to a complete series of COVID-19 vaccination wanes over time, at least with respect to symptomatic infection” Reimer wrote in the memo Tuesday.
“Effectiveness for healthy individuals remains high against severe outcomes — e.g. hospitalization and death.”
Manitoba has already offered third doses to people who are immunocompromised, who live or work in First Nations personal care homes, and people who received a vaccine and are travelling to countries that don’t recognize it.