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Manitoba says extra coronavirus doses found in vaccine mean hundreds more can be vaccinated

The Manitoba government says it's found hundreds of extra doses of COVID-19 vaccine. Photo by Erin Clark/The Boston Globe via Getty Images

The Manitoba government says it has found more than 400 extra doses in its first shipment of COVID-19 vaccine.

Provincial health officials say extra doses are being found in vials of the COVID-19 Pfizer vaccine the province received and started administering last week.

Read more: Manitoba tweaks COVID-19 immunization criteria to fill appointments

In a release Monday, the province said immunizers have “consistently been able to draw six doses of vaccine from each vial, instead of the expected five.”

That means more than 1,300 health-care workers can now get the shot, up from the 900 doses the province originally expected to deliver from the shipment.

Click to play video 'Coronavirus: Physician receives first COVID-19 vaccine administered in Manitoba' Coronavirus: Physician receives first COVID-19 vaccine administered in Manitoba
Coronavirus: Physician receives first COVID-19 vaccine administered in Manitoba – Dec 16, 2020

Those eligible for the first round of shots must be health-care workers whose work involves direct contact with patients and who meet the following criteria:

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  • work in critical care units, born on or before Dec. 31, 1980;
  • work in long-term care facilities, born on or before Dec. 31, 1962;
  • work in acute care facilities, born on or before Dec. 31, 1960; or
  • be assigned to COVID-19 immunization clinics.

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As of Monday the province said more than 1,200 eligible health-care workers have booked appointments to be immunized.

As more shipments come in, priority will be given to other health-care workers, seniors and Indigenous people, the province has said.

Manitoba has said it plans to vaccinate more than 100,000 people by March, roughly seven per cent of the province’s population.

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The provincial vaccine hotline will remain open until all appointments are filled, health officials said Monday.

— With files from The Canadian Press