More COVID-19 vaccine headed to Manitoba as province ramps up immunization campaign

Public health workers are gearing up to inoculate more of the most vulnerable Manitobans, with the province expecting to receive more than 3,500 doses of the Pfizer-BioNTech vaccine this week.

Manitoba officials have been told to expect 3,510 doses of the Pfizer-BioNTech vaccine this week and 15,210 doses next week, a provincial news release said Monday.

The news comes after federal Procurement Minister Anita Anand said Sunday that the country’s issues with vaccine delivery and shipment delays are largely in the past.

Manitoba’s Chief Public Health Officer Dr. Brent Roussin says the delays are the only things standing in the way of vaccinating eligible consenting Manitobans.

“As vaccines come in, we’re ready to administer it. We’re ready for different scenarios, we can ramp up as quick as we get vaccine in,” he said at a news conference on Monday.

Eligible Manitobans can now call to make appointments for their first doses at the Winnipeg and Brandon supersites.

These appointments will take place starting Feb. 20 in Winnipeg and Feb. 22 in Brandon, but that’s dependant on vaccine supply.

A number of people are being immunized with the Moderna vaccine in Churchill, Man., including elders in the long-term care wing of the health centre, eligible health-care workers and people over age 70 in the community.

Eligible First Nation health-care workers can also call to make an appointment at a pop-up site operating in Winnipeg this week, which is part of the vaccine rollout aimed at protecting First Nations that was announced on Feb. 1.

Manitobans can look online to see where they stand in the queue for vaccines.

The province can administer a maximum of 7,097 doses per day, but the provincial target is a daily maximum capacity of 20,000 doses by April 1. 

As of Monday, 48,187 doses of COVID-19 vaccines have been administered in the province, including 33,654 first doses and 14,533 second doses, the news release says.

Manitoba has the second highest number of people who are fully vaccinated in the country, behind Prince Edward Island.