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Manitoba Rolling Out COVID-19 Vaccines for Kids Younger Than 5

July 20, 2022 12:36 PM | News

Dr. Brent Roussin

Dr. Brent Roussin, Manitoba’s chief public health officer, speaks during a COVID-19 update at the Manitoba legislature in Winnipeg on March 30, 2020. (THE CANADIAN PRESS/John Woods)

WINNIPEG — Manitoba is rolling out COVID-19 vaccinations for children as young as six months to five years old.

Chief Provincial Public Health Officer Dr. Brent Roussin made the announcement Wednesday, saying the two-dose Moderna vaccine will be available to approximately 76,700 children in this age category.

“While we will have enough vaccine for all children in the near future, our initial delivery is limited 14,900 doses, which means we will have to prioritize who can get these initial doses,” Roussin said.

Manitoba is prioritizing the vaccine for children who have certain medical conditions, including chronic lung disease, airway abnormalities, congenital or chronic heart or circulatory diseases, moderately to severely immunocompromised due to a medical condition or treatment, neurologic disorders (including developmental delay), diabetes, chronic kidney disease, or any chronic disease related to premature birth; or are First Nations, Inuit or Métis, regardless of where they live.

“I know this day is a day that many parents have been waiting for for quite sometime. Many will feel that sense of relief that their child is now eligible.

Roussin said the province expects to receive additional doses, which will be administered eight weeks apart, by the end of July or early August.

Parents and caregivers of eligible children can begin booking appointments on Monday, July 25 at 8 a.m., using the online vaccine finder or through the vaccine call centre at 1-844-626-8222 (1-844-MAN-VACC).

As for adults, Roussin says Manitoba has no immediate plan to expand eligibility for second booster shots to everyone over 18.

He says the current limits target higher-risk groups, and most people with a first booster are seeing good protection against severe outcomes.

Ontario and Alberta have opened up second boosters to all adults.

In Manitoba, access is limited to Indigenous people aged 30 or older, other people aged 50 and over, as well as people in personal care and assisted living homes and some immunocompromised people.

Watch Wednesday’s news conference:

YouTube video

— With files from The Canadian Press