Province could vaccinate all Manitobans by end of April if Feds provide enough doses: Taskforce

WINNIPEG — Manitoba’s vaccination task force said it could get every Manitoban both doses of a COVID-19 vaccine by the end of April, if the federal government is able to provide enough doses.

Previous projections only estimate 70 per cent of the population will be inoculated by the end of the year. The discrepancy, vaccine planners say, is supply.

Officials from Manitoba’s vaccination task force briefed media on future plans and expectations Wednesday.

One projection based on maximum capacity shows Manitoba could deliver 1.8 million additional vaccine doses before the end of April, enough for every Manitoban to get the 2 doses required for both Pfizer and Moderna vaccines.

In order to do this, tens of thousands of immunizations would have to happen each day.

Immunization projections January 2021

(Source: Province of Manitoba)

Dr. Joss Reimer, a member of Manitoba’s COVID-19 Vaccine Implementation Task Force said one component connected to that maximum capacity volume is the overwhelming number of applications for jobs at immunization sites.

Expansion plans to get there include expanding the existing and planned vaccination supersites in Winnipeg, Brandon and Thompson, as well as adding a fourth location.

Focused Immunization Teams (FIT) would be beefed up and mobile vaccination sites would also start happening.

But the vaccination projections based on supply look much different according to the vaccination team’s presentation. They show Manitoba will average more than 1,500 injections per day in January, with a peak of about 2,500. February is estimated to see 2,500 injections per day.

Immunization Projections January 2021

(Source: Province of Manitoba)

Another way Manitoba is planning to get more shots in arms is to do them in doctors’ offices or pharmacies.

It is a part of the vaccination expansion plan as well, but Dr. Reimer said it’s not feasible yet with how sensitive Pfizer and Moderna vaccines are to temperature and transportation.

“If that changes, we certainly would welcome expansion to more sites to make it as convenient as possible for Manitobans to get access to the vaccine,” she said.

She added if another vaccine that isn’t as sensitive gets approved by Health Canada, it would be more widely distributed.

Immunization projections January 2021

(Source: Province of Manitoba)

NDP leader Wab Kinew said providing shots in the community could help with vaccine hesitancy.

“So I do encourage the provincial government and the official in charge of the vaccine rollout to let Manitobans know when can we expect to see the vaccine be delivered in pharmacies? When can we expect to see it in doctors’ offices?” he said.

Pharmacist Carey Lai told CTV News once that day comes, community pharmacies and doctors’ offices will play a big role in the fight against COVID-19

“Easier to make appointments, more convenient for accessibility for locations,” he said.

In the meantime, Lai is working as an immunizer at the RBC Convention Centre supersite to do his part in the fight against COVID-19.

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