Hey there, time traveller!
This article was published 18/12/2020 (306 days ago), so information in it may no longer be current.
As 2020 draws to a close, we are in the midst of a code red public health emergency, and we are entering a festive season unlike any other we have experienced in our lifetimes.
We are mindful of the many sacrifices others are making on our behalf and, indeed, the ones we are all making to better protect family, friends, and the wider community.
COVID-19 isn’t taking a break during the holiday season, so we all must continue following the fundamentals of social distancing, handwashing, and masking up where required.
In a democracy, robust debate is a healthy thing, and while we may disagree on details, it’s important for all of us to follow the public health directives. Our aim is to have all our family and friends around to celebrate together when it’s safe again to do so — and that’s around the corner.
The good news for everyone is the vaccines have begun to roll. They are free and safe, approved by Health Canada, and they will be monitored stringently. This month, 249,000 doses of the Pfizer-BioNTech vaccine are to be delivered across Canada.
Although it’s a small batch — enough to vaccinate 124,500 people in total given the two shots required — provincial governments have had to decide who gets the first shots.
The first vaccines have been administered in Winnipeg, and nurses in the COVID-19 critical care units were among the first to receive the shots, followed by senior citizens in long-term care homes and assisted living facilities, including retirement homes and chronic care hospitals. They will be further followed by older adults starting at 80 years of age and older and adults at risk in remote or isolated Indigenous communities.
In the medium term, Manitoba should receive enough to vaccinate more than 100,000 people by March 31 of next year at locations in Winnipeg, Brandon, Thompson, Steinbach, Gimli, Portage la Prairie and The Pas.
Information about the vaccine clinics in the months ahead will be shared with Manitobans as more vaccine arrives in the province.
Please have a safe, healthy, and happy holiday, and best wishes for a happy and healthy New Year.
For more information on provincial programs, please contact my office at 204-415-1122 or email me at email@example.com
Elmwood constituency report
Jim Maloway is the NDP MLA for Elmwood.