Manitoba youth need 1st dose by July 27 to ensure full immunization by return to school: Dr. Reimer

Manitoba parents of children age 12 to 17 who haven’t yet arranged for a first COVID-19 vaccine dose should consider making the time over the next week, or those kids will end up heading back to school without being fully immunized, says Dr. Joss Reimer.

The medical lead for the provincial vaccine task force urged parents on Wednesday to book appointments to get a first-dose appointment for their children by Tuesday, July 27.

If eligible youth haven’t received their first shot by then, they won’t have enough time to get their second dose and develop immunity before school resumes in early September, Reimer said at a news conference.

“It’s a good time to add this to your summer calendar.”

People who get vaccinated must wait a minimum of 28 days between first and second doses.

If a youth was to get their first shot done next Tuesday, the earliest they could get their second dose is around Aug. 24.

It takes on average about 14 days from a second dose before maximum immunity is reached, which would mean someone who got their second shot on Aug. 24 would have their strongest protection around Sept. 7 — the first day of the 2021-22 school year.

Youth who get their first dose by Aug. 2 and second dose by Sept. 6 are automatically entered in the province’s vaccine lottery to win one of several $25,000 scholarships for post-secondary education.

Appointments can be booked through the province’s vaccine website or by calling 1-844-626-8222.

WATCH | Kids should get 1st dose by July 27 to be fully vaccinated for return to school:

Dr. Joss Reimer, medical lead of Manitoba’s vaccine task force, said children aged 12-17 should have their first dose of a COVID-19 vaccine by July 27 in order to allow enough time between first and second doses, as well as enough time after the second dose, before school starts up again in the fall. 0:45