First members of general public get doses of COVID-19 vaccine in Manitoba

Manitoba has reached a new milestone in its COVID-19 vaccine rollout as the first members of the general public received their initial shots Monday afternoon. 

Anyone born on or before Dec. 31, 1930, and First Nations people born on or before Dec. 31, 1950, are eligible to receive the vaccine. 

The first appointments for members of the general public took place at the RBC Convention Centre in Winnipeg. 

Nina Luhowy, 93, was one of those people, rolling down her light pink sweater to get her first shot Monday afternoon. 

Nina Luhowy said she felt fine after receiving her first dose of the COVID-19 vaccine Monday afternoon. (Kevin King/Winnipeg Sun )

“So far so good. I cannot complain,” she said after getting her shot. 

Gisella Greshner, 97, also got her first dose Monday afternoon, getting some help from her grandson, who brought her to her appointment. 

Gisella Greshner answers questions before getting her shot Monday afternoon. (City News)

In recent weeks, vaccination appointments have been limited to certain priority groups such as health-care workers and long-term care residents.

The province has said it plans to vaccinate the general public based on age, with those aged 90 or older at the front of the line.

As of Monday morning, the province said that 76,670 doses of vaccine had been administered — including 47,780 first doses and 28,890 second doses. 

Beginning this week, Manitobans living in several northern communities will be able access immunizations at the supersite in Thompson. 

Eligible Manitobans can also begin booking their immunization appointments at the Selkirk supersite, located at the former Selkirk and District General Hospital, starting Monday. 

Immunizations will start at the site on Monday, March 8. 

Nina Luhowy, 93, gets her shot at the COVID-19 vaccination supersite at RBC Convention Centre in downtown Winnipeg. (Kevin King/Winnipeg Sun)

Health officials have said that under the low-supply scenario — which assumed using only Pfizer-BioNTech and Moderna vaccines — the province estimated it would complete vaccinations by the end of November.

Under the high-supply scenario, which assumed a third vaccine would become available, the province could complete vaccinations by the end of August. 

Health Canada announced last Friday it had approved the vaccine developed by Oxford University and AstraZeneca, clearing the way for millions more doses of vaccine to come into the country.