All Manitoba care home residents to be offered COVID-19 vaccines over next month

All people living in Manitoba’s personal care homes will have a chance to get their first dose of the COVID-19 vaccine over the next month as part of a campaign that starts Monday, the province said Wednesday.

That campaign will begin by vaccinating roughly 1,157 people at seven sites across all the province’s health regions next week, a news release said.

Those sites are Boyne Lodge in Carman; the Charleswood Care Centre, Tuxedo Villa and Oakview Place in Winnipeg; Hillcrest Place in Brandon; St. Paul’s Residence in The Pas; and Tudor House in Selkirk.

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Premier Brian Pallister will speak about Manitoba’s COVID-19 vaccine rollout plans this morning, two days after a vaccination super site opened in downtown Winnipeg.

CBC Manitoba will live stream the 11:30 a.m. news conference here and on Facebook, Twitter and CBC Gem.

There were 850 people immunized at the RBC Convention Centre super site on Tuesday, and 4,292 people have been immunized against COVID-19 since the vaccine first arrived in Manitoba in December, provincial officials have said.

Thousands of appointments have been booked for Jan. 4-10 with second-dose appointments occurring Jan. 25 to 31, a government news release said.

Expanded eligibility

The only people eligible for the first round of vaccines were health-care workers assigned to COVID-19 immunization clinics and older health-care workers who are in direct contact with patients and work in critical-care units, acute-care facilities or long-term care facilities.

However, there were specific age limits on eligibility. Those limits have slowly been loosened.

On Tuesday, the province opened it up even more, announcing that any health-care worker who meets at least one of the following criteria is eligible to make an appointment for immunization:  

  • Work in critical care units (no age restrictions).
  • Work in long-term care facilities, born on or before Dec. 31, 1975.
  • Work in acute care facilities, born on or before Dec. 31, 1975.
  • Assigned to a COVID-19 immunization clinic or designated COVID-19 testing site (no age restrictions).
  • Work in a laboratory handling COVID-19 specimens (no age restrictions).
  • Work on a designated COVID-19 hospital ward (no age restrictions).
  • Work in provincial or federal correctional facilities (no age restrictions).

About 800 appointments remained available this week at the super site and the phone line is open to eligible health-care workers from 6 a.m. to 8 p.m. daily until all spaces are filled.

The super site currently has about 10,800 doses of the Pfizer BioNTech vaccine. Manitoba also recently received its first shipment of 7,300 doses of the Moderna vaccine.

About 5,300 Moderna doses will be used to address immediate First Nation priorities and the remaining 2,000 will be used to launch the immunization campaign at personal care homes next week, the province said.