Manitoba aiming to open 2nd dose COVID-19 vaccination to everyone by next week

Health officials in Manitoba are aiming to have second dose COVID-19 vaccine appointments open to everyone eligible for the shot by the end of next week.

The move comes as officials from the province’s vaccine implementation task force said Wednesday slightly more than 300,000 doses of the Moderna vaccine are expected to arrive in Manitoba by the end of June.

Read more: Manitoba again expands 2nd-dose COVID-19 vaccine eligibility

Officials say the deliveries will allow the province to administer more than 20,000 doses per day.

Eligibility for second dose appointments were expanded Wednesday to include anyone who got their first shot on or before May 14. Eligibility will expand again Thursday at 11:45 a.m. to include anyone who got their first shot on or before May 18.

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Officials have been expanding that availability around 11:45 a.m. on Mondays, Wednesdays and Fridays.

But at a technical briefing held earlier in the day Wednesday, task force operations lead Johanu Botha said the province is planning to soon start expanding second dose appointments daily instead.

All Indigenous people in the province, as well as people with certain high-risk medical conditions, can also book a second dose.

Read more: COVID-19: Winnipeg vaccine clinic taking 1st-shot walk-ins, 2nd-dose eligibility expanded

More information is expected at a 12:30 p.m. press conference with Botha and taskforce lead, Dr. Joss Reimer.

Global News will stream the event live in this story.

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Botha also said the province is planning on expanding walk-in dose opportunities for both first and second doses at all supersites in the province other than the RBC Convention Centre site in Winnipeg, next week.

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That follows a pilot that has seen walk-in shots available at the Leila supersite in Winnipeg this week.

The clinic at 770 Leila Ave., will be accepting walk-ins from 1 p.m. to 7:45 p.m. Wednesday and from 9 a.m. to 3:45 p.m. Thursday.

Starting June 20 shots will also be available without making a prior appointment at clinics in Brandon, Dauphin and Morden. Walk-ins will be available in Selkirk and Gimli starting June 22, and in Steinbach starting June 24.

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Walk-in shots are already available in Thompson and The Pas, the province said.

Botha said the province will add 10 per cent capacity to Moderna availability at each site, earmarked for daily first and second-dose walk-ins.

Currently, all Manitobans aged 12 and over are eligible to receive their first dose of vaccine.

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Health officials have said those making second-dose appointments need to know which vaccine they first received, and the date the dose was given.

Personal vaccine information can be found on Shared Health’s website or by calling the local public health office.

Read more: Can I get a COVID-19 vaccine yet in Manitoba? How to book it and where to go

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Vaccination appointments, for both first and second doses, can be made by calling 1-844-626-8222 (1-844-MAN-VACC) or visiting the province’s website.

As of Wednesday, a total of 1,077,421 doses of vaccine have been administered in Manitoba, according to a provincial website tracking doses.

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

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.

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