Manitoba will start booking second dose COVID-19 vaccination appointments Friday.
Dr. Joss Reimer, head of the province’s vaccine task force, said Wednesday those with certain health conditions such as severe heart failure and Down syndrome, will be prioritized for the first round of second shots.
“These individuals are more medically vulnerable, and not only at higher risk of severe outcomes, but also less likely to be protected by one dose,” said Reimer.
After that, appointments will be available based on when people received their first dose, and the campaign could finish by the end of July.
Second dose appointments for the general population could begin as early as next week, said vaccine task force operations lead, Johanu Botha
He said the province will open up second-dose appointments for the general population using a system based mainly on when Manitobans received their first dose.
“For example, if you got your first dose before the end of March, you’ll be eligible to book sooner, then, a few days later we’d move to those who had their first dose before April 5, then before April 12, and so on,” he explained.
The system will see high-risk professions like health-care workers able to book their second shots sooner, Botha said.
Health officials expect to announce new second-dose eligibility on Mondays, Wednesdays, and Fridays once the estimated 26,000 Manitobans with priority health conditions are given the opportunity to book their appointments first.
Botha said the booking process for second-dose appointments will be the same as the process for first-doses, and can be done by calling 1-844-626-8222 (1-844-MAN-VACC) or visiting the province’s website.
He noted it is important to know which vaccine you received for your first dose when calling in. Personal vaccine information can be found on Shared Health’s website or by calling the local public health office.
For now Botha said health officials plan on giving the same vaccine for first and second doses.
Currently all Manitobans 12 and over are eligible to receive their first dose of COVID-19 vaccine.
According to provincial health data released Wednesday, 666,508 first and second doses of vaccine have been administered in Manitoba.
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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