Kids, parents stream into Winnipeg vaccination site after eligibility opens to everyone 12 and up

A steady stream of young people and their parents were in and out of the COVID-19 vaccination clinic at the RBC Convention Centre in Winnipeg on Friday.

Roughly 11,000 vaccination appointments were booked for Friday at Manitoba’s sites across the province, a provincial spokesperson told CBC.

Manitoba opened vaccination to all people 12 and up last Friday.

Many of the teenage and nearly-teen Manitobans getting their shots Friday said they hope the vaccines will lead to a return to a normal life, and bring back some of what’s been missing over the last 14 months or so.

“I really miss sports with my friends and just hanging out with my friends in general,” Ella Radcliffe, 13, on her way to get a vaccination with her mother.

“I feel like once everybody gets their shots, everything will go back to normal and we’ll be able to do normal things again and be with people.”

Visits with family and friends and a return to normal routine were some of the people and things most who spoke to CBC News wanted to see return after they’d been fully vaccinated.

Nolan Pittet, 12, believes he can do his part for the community by getting the vaccine. (Rudy Gauer/CBC )

“It’s pretty hard, being at home alone looking at a screen all day,” said Nolan Pittet, 12, just after getting his shot.

Vaccinations are “really a big part of getting whole immunity for this COVID thing,” he said. “I think it would really help out the city if I get it.” 

Even going to school looks like fun at this point.

“Oh yeah! School is good. I like going into school. It’s better than online,” said Eric Mulchui, 12, as a father laughed beside him.

Manitoba is gearing up for another big week of immunizations, with close to 97,000 vaccination appointments booked for next week, according to the provincial spokesperson.

As of Friday, nearly 48 per cent of all Manitobans age 12 and up had received at least one dose of a COVID-19 vaccine, according to provincial data. That number was close to 57 per cent for Manitobans 18 and up.

A total of 714,012 doses have been administered in the province to date.

Today was one of the first day younger Manitobans could get their first shot of the COVID-19 vaccine. 11K appointments were booked at supersites and pop-up clinics across the province today alone. 1:39