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The Latest on the COVID-19 Vaccine

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Vaccine Crop

Much has been reported about the rollout and availability of vaccines since mid-December when they began to arrive in Manitoba. But the average resident of the Southern Health region will have to wait their turn.

In early January, the province announced it would prioritize the administration of vaccines to personal care homes, using Focused Immunization Teams (FITs), and basing locations on the vulnerability of the PCH, the number of residents, and the percentage of shared rooms in the facility.

As of January 11, the FITs began rolling out the vaccine toa small number of select PCHs. They plan to reach 9,834 people living in PCHs, administering the first dose to these residents within 28 days, as long as the vaccine continues to be delivered to Manitoba as expected. The same schedule will then be immediately repeated to provide the second dose.

In total, more than 1,150 PCH residents across Manitoba will receive their first dose of a vaccine by end of this week. However, the only PCH currently indicated on the province’s vaccination schedule for the week of January 11 is Boyne Lodge in Carman.

Other than targeting PCH residents, so-called “vaccination super-sites” are being set up in Winnipeg, Brandon, and Thompson.

The RBC Convention Centre site in Winnipeg launched on January 4, and the Thompson site is expected to open on February 1. In a recent news release, the province said the super-site at Keystone Centre in Brandon will be able to vaccinate 4,100 priority healthcare workers in its first week of operations.

So far, appointments are only available to healthcare workers whose work involves direct contact with patients from identified critical units. The province has indicated that these criteria will be expanded in the coming weeks, beginning with COVID-19 testing laboratory employees; group homes; paramedic and specialty medical transport teams; emergency placement, family violence and homeless shelters; correctional facilities; and homecare workers.

The province also says they intend to launch a new online system in early 2021 to support Manitobans who will need to book an immunization appointment in the coming months.

For more information

For more information on one’s eligibility for vaccination at the provincial super-sites, the PCH vaccination schedule, and up-to-date information on the vaccination rollout in Manitoba, visit www.manitoba.ca/vaccine.

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