Manitoba’s timeline for reaching its target of getting first-doses of COVID-19 vaccines into the arms of at least 70 per cent of eligible Manitobans has been pushed back to the end of June.
Rather than aiming to reach that goal by June 9, health officials have extended the timeline by 21 days to Jun 30.
The extension is due to slowing demand for first doses, as well as reductions in the number of Moderna doses expected to arrive next week, Johanu Botha, operations lead for the province’s vaccine task force, said during a technical briefing on Friday.
Botha couldn’t say why fewer people are making appointments for their first dose, but said the extension was necessary as the province ramps up its second-dose campaign.
“We just want to give ourselves that timeline, that full 21 days because we can’t predict perfectly how the remaining first dosers are going to behave, and at what rate they’re going to book,” he said.
“It could very well be before the end of June but now it’s really up to Maniobans and to their preferences and how they behave.”
The province had expected to receive a shipment of 35,000 Moderna doses the week of May 31, but that has now been cut back to 14,600. With fewer Moderna doses to push through pop-up sites, there will be fewer Pfizer doses to give to youth 12 and older, Botha said.
More to come.