Province to release overall vaccination plan Manitobans will get first look Wednesday at proposed schedule for general population rollout
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This article was published 25/01/2021 (863 days ago), so information in it may no longer be current.
Manitobans should finally learn Wednesday where they fall on the COVID-19 vaccination priority list — six weeks after the province administered its first injection.
Dr. Joss Reimer, medical lead with Manitoba’s COVID-19 vaccine implementation task force, said the province will provide a tentative schedule showing the planned immunization order going forward.
“We’ll be releasing a list of all of the populations that we intend to prioritize over the entirety of our vaccine rollout,” Reimer said. “There may still be some unknowns in that but we’ll make clear where those are.”
Manitoba is one of the few remaining provinces to reveal its next steps after vaccinating select health care workers, including those in social support sectors and corrections, personal care home residents, First Nations elders and emergency personnel. Ontario, British Columbia and Quebec have shared their plans to vaccinate other residents and have provided timelines.
Reimer previously said she’d release Manitoba’s schedule last week, but disruptions in the delivery of the Pfizer-BioNTech vaccine, which impacts all Canadian provinces, threw a wrench into existing plans.
“We needed time to ask our numbers folks, our planning and logistics people to first off focus all of their attention on adjustments for the supply,” Reimer said. “But also it gave them an opportunity to review what the expectations are and make sure that what we had been planning for the priority populations didn’t need to change.”
The plan that will be released Wednesday will include the order in which all population groups in the province will be immunized over the course of the rollout, she said, but added health officials are unsure when deliveries of the Pfizer vaccine will resume at full volume.
In Ontario, the government has prioritized essential workers such as teachers, people working in construction and food production, as well as vulnerable racialized communities and the elderly for immunization between April and July.
B.C. has announced a four-phase model, with the first two phases covering high-risk populations and the third and fourth phases generally prioritized according to age.
Immunization of the general population, beginning with people under 80, won’t begin until April. Those under the age of 60 can expect to get a shot sometime between July and September.
NDP Leader Wab Kinew pointed to British Columbia’s vaccination plan as an approach that Manitoba might emulate.
“The government could very easily create a vaccine plan like the one that B.C. has released to the public just so Manitobans would know when they can expect to get the vaccine,” Kinew said Monday.
“This information could be compiled now. It could be released to Manitobans to provide peace of mind, and then even though (vaccine) delivery dates might fluctuate… at least those seniors who are waiting on the vaccine would know that they are at the head of the line.”
Liberal Leader Dougald Lamont said the province does not need to receive greater vaccine supplies to release its plan.
“If you’re building a house, you don’t wait for the lumber to arrive to start designing it,” he said.
“We’ll be releasing a list of all of the populations that we intend to prioritize over the entirety of our vaccine rollout. There may still be some unknowns in that but we’ll make clear where those are.” — Dr. Joss Reimer, medical lead with Manitoba’s COVID-19 vaccine implementation task force
However, the province may be forced to postpone some second-dose COVID-19 vaccine appointments as deliveries of the Pfizer vaccine come to a halt, Reimer said.
Reimer said there will be no deliveries this week and the province is waiting to hear from the federal government about how many doses it will receive the week of Feb. 8.
“We are looking at our numbers and we’re going to ensure that if we’re not receiving that shipment on Feb. 8 that we reserve enough doses to be able to provide the second dose to all personal-care home residents,” she said.
That information should be available by Friday and will determine whether second-dose appointments at the super-site clinics can continue as scheduled next week or if they need to be postponed. As a result, no new appointments are being booked at the Winnipeg and Brandon clinics.
Personal-care home residents awaiting their second dose of the vaccine will receive the shot on schedule.
However, appointments are being accepted for the opening of a clinic in Thompson next Monday. The province also plans to administer shots at clinics in Flin Flon and The Pas beginning Feb. 8 for eligible health-care workers using the Moderna vaccine.
According to the province, beginning this week, every dose of vaccine injected at a clinic will be a second one.
The province has also introduced an enhanced screening and consent process to offer vaccines to people who have autoimmune conditions, are pregnant or breastfeeding.
To date, Manitoba has received 55,650 doses of vaccine, including 40,950 Pfizer doses and 14,700 Moderna. So far, Manitobans have received 29,751 doses. The province said 37,522 vaccinations are planned in the next 28 days.
Vaccine uptake among eligible health-care workers has been approximately 70 to 80 per cent thus far, Reimer said.
— With files from Larry Kusch
Danielle Da Silva
Danielle Da Silva is a general assignment reporter.
Updated on Monday, January 25, 2021 7:44 PM CST: Changes could to should in lede graph.
Updated on Monday, January 25, 2021 8:06 PM CST: updates details about released vaccination details.
Updated on Monday, January 25, 2021 10:14 PM CST: Fixes typo.