COVID-19: Manitoba health officials give update on vaccination efforts

Manitoba health officials will give an update on the province’s efforts to vaccinate against COVID-19 Wednesday.

Dr. Joss Reimer, lead of the province’s vaccine task force will be joined by the task force’s operations, planning and logistics lead, Johanu Botha at a 12:30 p.m. press conference.

Read more: Manitoba vax-a-thon organizers on pins and needles, hope for 20K participants

Global News will stream the event live in this story.

The media availability comes as the province holds its first ever first-ever walk-in vax-a-thon Wednesday with hopes to get 20,000 shots into the arms of Manitobans Wednesday.

Click to play video: 'Manitoba Vax-a-thon starts Wednesday' Manitoba Vax-a-thon starts Wednesday

Manitoba Vax-a-thon starts Wednesday

The move sees all supersites in Manitoba offering shots without an appointment, and 8,000 Pfizer shots are being specifically earmarked for youth aged 12 to 17.

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Reimer and Botha are holding their press conference at the large-scale vaccine clinic at RBC Convention Centre in Winnipeg.

Read more: Manitoba reports 25 new COVID-19 cases, 1 death

Botha said Tuesday the vax-a-thon is coming at a critical time in the province’s vaccine rollout and reopening plan —  they have been planning this for a while and were just waiting for the moment where supply outweighed demand.

As of Tuesday 76.5 per cent of eligible Manitobans have received one shot of vaccine and 57.8 per cent have received two doses, according to a provincial website tracking vaccinations.

Click to play video: 'Manitoba to host province-wide walk-in COVID-19 vaccine clinics next week' Manitoba to host province-wide walk-in COVID-19 vaccine clinics next week

Manitoba to host province-wide walk-in COVID-19 vaccine clinics next week

The province has tied its reopening plans to vaccination rates.

Later in the day Premier Brian Pallister and chief public health officer, Dr. Brent Roussin are expected to announce a further loosening of restrictions after a second milestone in the plan — 75 per cent of eligible Manitobans having their first dose and 50 per cent having their second — was hit ahead of target.

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Read more: Word on next phase of Manitoba’s COVID-19 reopening expected Wednesday

“Our government has spared no effort to bolster vaccine availability and accessibility, and to give Manitobans the information and support they need to roll up their sleeve — not once, but twice — and get fully vaccinated,” Pallister said in a release Tuesday.

“We are close to achieving all of our vaccination milestones earlier than we could have imagined. Now we just need that extra effort by every Manitoban not yet vaccinated to roll up your sleeve and push us across the finish line so we can safely, fully reopen.”

–With files from Amy-Ellen Prentice

Questions about COVID-19? Here are some things you need to know:

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Symptoms can include fever, cough and difficulty breathing — very similar to a cold or flu. Some people can develop a more severe illness. People most at risk of this include older adults and people with severe chronic medical conditions like heart, lung or kidney disease. If you develop symptoms, contact public health authorities.

To prevent the virus from spreading, experts recommend frequent handwashing and coughing into your sleeve. They also recommend minimizing contact with others, staying home as much as possible and maintaining a distance of two metres from other people if you go out. In situations where you can’t keep a safe distance from others, public health officials recommend the use of a non-medical face mask or covering to prevent spreading the respiratory droplets that can carry the virus. In some provinces and municipalities across the country, masks or face coverings are now mandatory in indoor public spaces.

For full COVID-19 coverage from Global News, visit our coronavirus page.

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