Manitoba health officials say the province saw a record number of COVID-19 vaccination appointments booked when the age for eligibility was lowered to include all Manitobans aged 12 and up.
On Monday the province said 41,754 appointments were booked Friday, outpacing the previous high-water mark for appointments set May 13, when officials say 26,000 appointments were made.
Health Canada approved the Pfizer vaccine for children aged 12 to 15 May 5. Prior to that the federal agency had approved the shot only for those 16 and older.
Dr. Joss Reimer, lead of Manitoba’s vaccine implementation taskforce, said appointments for a dose can be made by young people aged 12 and older or their parent, guardian or caregiver.
She said ideally those aged 12 to 15 will have a consent form signed by a parent, guardian, or caregiver, before getting their shot, but those without a signed form can still get their dose after going through an informed consent process with a clinical lead at the vaccine clinic, she added.
Those aged 16 and 17 can sign their own consent forms, the province said.
Book appointment in child’s name
In a release Monday, the province said parents should book appointments under their child’s name, not their own name.
Officials say parents, guardians or caregivers who have already received one shot, and who booked a shot for a child under their own name, will receive a cancellation email because the appointment would have been made for the adult’s second-dose, which aren’t being booked yet.
Those who used their own name to book an appointment for a child and have received a cancellation email are asked to book a new appointment for the child.
Vaccination appointments can be made by calling 1-844-626-8222 (1-844-MAN-VACC) or visiting the province’s website.
To date 657,634 first and second doses of vaccine have been delivered in Manitoba, health officials say.
The province says appointments for second-dose appointments will become available starting May 22. Those who are immunocompromised or have other prioritized health conditions will be able to book their appointments first, the province has said.
Pop-up, walk-in clinics
The province says vaccine appointments can currently be made at all vaccination super sites in the province, including Gimli, Dauphin, Steinbach, Winnipeg (RBC Convention Centre and Leila locations), Brandon, Thompson, Selkirk and Morden.
Pop-up clinics are also planned for communities throughout Manitoba next week.
Walk-in clinics will also be open in The Pas and Flin Flon this week and next week.
The clinic at the Roy H. Johnson Arena in The Pas will be open for walk-ins only May 18, 19, and 25. Walk-ins as well as booked appointments will also be available May 26, the province says.
The walk-in clinic at Flin Flon Community Hall will be open for walk-ins only May 20 and 21, and then again for both booked appointments and walk-ins May 27 and 28. The site will be open 11 a.m. to 6 p.m. on each available day.
Urban Indigenous pop-up clinics are also open in Winnipeg, Brandon, Thompson and Portage la Prairie.
As of Monday morning 767,670 doses of vaccine have been delivered to Manitoba, including 506,610 doses of Pfizer vaccine, 176,800 doses of the Moderna vaccine, and 84,260 doses of the AstraZeneca/Covishield vaccine.
Health officials say another 3,710 doses of Pfizer vaccine, 37,600 doses of Moderna vaccine and 23,800 doses of Astra-Zeneca vaccine are expected this week.
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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