Manitoba is planning an ambitiousCOVID-19 immunization campaign that it says will see all eligible personal care home residents vaccinated by early March.
Premier Brian Pallister says the campaign will kick off Monday with roughly 1,157 people expected to be vaccinated over the week at seven facilities across the province.
“This is the next crucial phase in our plan to protect Manitobans from COVID-19,” said Pallister in a government release.
“We have built a plan to immunize some of our most vulnerable people as quickly as possible, now that we can bring the vaccine to them safely. By early March, every eligible resident will have received both doses and the fullest protection we can provide against this virus.”
The first facilities to receive doses next week include:
- Boyne Lodge, Carman, Southern Health–Santé Sud;
- Charleswood Care Centre, Winnipeg Regional Health Authority;
- Hillcrest Place, Brandon, Prairie Mountain Health;
- Oakview Place, Winnipeg Regional Health Authority;
- St. Paul’s Residence, The Pas, Northern Health Region;
- Tudor House, Selkirk, Interlake Eastern Regional Health Authority; and
- Tuxedo Villa, Winnipeg Regional Health Authority.
Vaccinations will eventually be administered to PCH residents at all 135 facilities province-wide who have consented to be immunized, the province says, and priority groups have been identified by looking at the vulnerability of each facility.
For other high-priority groups, such as health-care workers, the province will open large-scale vaccination sites in Brandon and Thompson in the coming weeks, Pallister added. A similar site in Winnipeg opened this week.
The province says it has been working with the long-term care sector to prepare for the PCH campaign since the middle of December and a week-by-week plan has been developed to immunize an estimated 9,834 people living in PCHs across the province in the coming weeks.
Pallister said all residents will receive their first dose of either Moderna or Pfizer vaccine within 28-days of the campaign launch, as long as the vaccine continues to be delivered to Manitoba.
The schedule will then be immediately repeated to provide the second dose to all PCH residents, he added.
The province says a schedule for the remaining PCH vaccinations will be released next week.
As of Tuesday night Pallister said 5,165 Manitobans have been vaccinated since doses of the Pfizer vaccine started arriving in the province in December.
The province opened its first vaccination super site at the RBC Convention Centre in Winnipeg Monday, and says 850 people were immunized at the site that day.
Thousands of appointments have been booked for Jan. 4 through 10, with second-dose appointments scheduled for the week of Jan. 25, the province says. Roughly 800 appointments remain open for later this week, the province added.
The first shots are reserved for health-care workers whose work involves direct contact with patients and who meet at least one of the following criteria:
- work in critical care units
- work in long-term care facilities, born on or before Dec. 31, 1975
- work in acute care facilities, born on or before Dec. 31, 1975
- assigned to a COVID-19 immunization clinic or testing site
- work in a laboratory handling COVID-19 specimens
- work on a designated COVID-19 hospital ward
- work in provincial or federal correctional facilities
According to data provided by the province the super site had roughly 10,800 doses of the Pfizer vaccine stored as of Tuesday morning.
The province’s first shipment of 7,300 doses of the Moderna vaccine arrived last week, with the majority of those doses planned to go to Manitoba First Nations.
Provincial health officials said Tuesday First Nations leaders are still planning how to roll out those doses.
On Wednesday health officials said 10 more Manitobans with COVID-19 have died bringing the province’s death toll from the virus to 795.
They also announced 176 new infections, bringing Manitoba’s total number of lab-confirmed cases of the virus identified since March to 25,541.
–With files from the Canadian Press
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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