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Manitoba government receives 100K calls for COVID-19 vaccine appointments

90 year old Margaret Keenan, the first patient in the UK to receive the Pfizer-BioNTech COVID-19 vaccine, administered by nurse May Parsons at University Hospital, Coventry, England, Tuesday Dec. 8, 2020. The United Kingdom, one of the countries hardest hit by the coronavirus, is beginning its vaccination campaign, a key step toward eventually ending the pandemic. (Jacob King/Pool via AP)

The Manitoba government was flooded with calls from people wanting to roll up their sleeves for the new COVID-19 vaccine.

A limited supply of the vaccine is scheduled to arrive in Manitoba in the coming days and the province has started booking those first appointments at the immunization clinic.

Read more: Manitoba announces initial plan for COVID-19 vaccine rollout

Since opening Saturday, the booking service has received more than 100,000 phone calls and some callers were screened out as they did not meet eligibility criteria.

Click to play video: 'Procurement minister defends Canada’s COVID-19 vaccine portfolio' Procurement minister defends Canada’s COVID-19 vaccine portfolio
Procurement minister defends Canada’s COVID-19 vaccine portfolio – Dec 13, 2020

Right now there are only 900 appointments available and even with so many calls, the vast majority were ineligible and still about half of the spots remain for eligible health-care providers to book.

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The first priority group to receive COVID-19 immunizations in Manitoba are health-care workers whose work involves direct contact with patients and who meet one of these other criteria:

  • Work in critical care units, born on or before Dec. 31, 1970
  • Work in acute care facilities, born on or before Dec. 31, 1960
  • Work in long-term care facilities, born on or before Dec. 31, 1960
  • Or be assigned to COVID-19 immunization clinics

So far there is no date set for when the public can start getting the vaccine.

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