More than a third of Manitoba’s COVID-19 vaccine doses set to expire by November: province

More than a third of Manitoba’s COVID-19 vaccine doses will expire by November, according to the province.

As of Tuesday, Manitoba had a stock of about 51,300 COVID-19 vaccine doses. About 17,800 doses — or 35 per cent — will expire sometime between April and November, a provincial spokesperson said in an email to Radio-Canada.

But that’s only if Health Canada does not approve any more shelf-life extensions from manufacturers, the spokesperson said.

About 43,000 of the 51,300 doses are bivalent vaccines, which target both the original strain of the coronavirus that causes COVID-19 and its Omicron variant, and are recommended as booster shots by the National Advisory Committee on Immunization.

Last month, the province announced it was making spring COVID-19 booster vaccines available for individuals considered high risk.

All adults 65 and older, as well as moderately to severely immunocompromised adults, residents in long-term care or assisted living facilities, and Indigenous people 45 and older are eligible for the spring booster.

Those guidelines follow the latest NACI recommendations, which were amended on March 3.

A COVID-19 booster campaign is also anticipated next fall, the province said in March.

Nearly 78 per cent of Manitobans had received at least two doses of a COVID-19 vaccine and 21 per cent had at least one dose of a bivalent vaccine as of April 8, according to the province.