COVID-19 update coming as Manitoba acquires 2nd vaccine batch

Manitoba’s acting deputy public health chief will deliver his first solo COVID-19 update Friday.

Dr. Jazz Atwal, acting deputy chief provincial public health officer, will give an update and take questions from reporters in a briefing at 12:30 p.m. CT. CBC Manitoba will live stream the briefing on our website. 

Atwal has recently joined the briefings with Chief Provincial Public Health Officer Dr. Brent Roussin, who is taking time off over the holidays.

The briefing comes hours after the provincial government announced it had secured a second batch of the Pfizer-BioNTech vaccine, opening up appointments for 900 additional health-care workers starting next week. 

The first 900 Manitobans, all health workers, were expected to have received the first doses of the vaccine by Friday.

Recent daily counts have begun to trend downward, health officials have said, but hospitals continue to struggle with the number of patients needing care. The province’s critical care system has been running beyond its pre-COVID capacity for weeks.