Manitoba’s premier says health officials are trying out a new method of COVID-19 vaccination delivery that may lead to faster inoculation times.
Brian Pallister said the new method — which aims to divide the tasks of vaccination centre staff more efficiently — will be piloted at the province’s latest vaccination super site slated to open in Morden on Monday.
Pallister announced the pilot program after touring the the large-scale vaccination clinic at the Morden Access Event Centre Friday morning.
“I want to commend our Vaccine Implementation Task Force for its continued efforts to build a flexible vaccine roll-out plan that is focused on providing life-saving vaccines to as many Manitobans as quickly and safely as possible,” Pallister said in a government release.
“The pilot will test a new model that aims to provide better patient care, which is especially important for vulnerable Manitobans accessing these sites, as it can be a difficult and overwhelming process.”
Currently immunizers at Manitoba’s vaccination sites are responsible responsible for reconstituting the vaccine and drawing it into the needle, delivering the vaccine and checking and updating a client’s immunization records.
Under the new method being tested in Morden, staff will be assigned to reconstitute and fill the needles with vaccine to accelerate the process, while other staff members will focus on checking and updating immunization records.
Immunizers will move from client to client with a cart of supplies, meaning they are able to focus on immunizing, the province says.
Health and Seniors Minister Heather Stefanson says the new method is based on experiences of the province’s mobile focused immunization teams (FIT) and was developed with help from other jurisdictions.
“They divide up different tasks to make things run more quickly and efficiently, particularly when FIT members visited each patient in their room at personal care homes and other congregate living facilities,” she explained.
“The goal is to expand that success on a larger scale.”
“This will allow for more rapid turnover between clients and less waiting, which will allow us to immunize more people every day and get the vaccine to more Manitobans sooner.”
Health officials say the new method is expected to cut the time each person getting vaccinated spends in the clinic from and average of 45 minutes down to 25 minutes, including a required 15-minute, post-immunization recovery period.
Pallister said the new method will be tested at the Winnipeg super site starting next week as well.
The new facility in Morden is the fifth such site to open in Manitoba. Sites are already operating in Winnipeg, Brandon, Selkirk, and Thompson.
Appointments can be made at any site by calling 1-844-626-8222 or using the province’s online booking site.
The latest eligibility information on vaccine eligibility is available on the province’s website.
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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