Essential workers left off Manitoba’s COVID-19 vaccine plan
WINNIPEG -- Manitoba’s COVID-19 vaccine plan is officially out, listing the priority for people getting vaccinated.
The four-stage plan starts with health-care workers, personal care home residents, and people in Indigenous communities at the front of the line and will grow from there, however, one group that isn't on the list is essential workers.
Dr. Joss Reimer, the medical lead of Manitoba’s Vaccine Implementation Task Force, was asked why the task force wouldn’t build a priority list based on those who work higher-risk jobs.
Reimer said if she could, she would open the opportunity for every Manitoban to be vaccinated right away.
“What we’re doing is we’re basing our decision on the science that we have in front of us,” she said. “So when we looked at the research, it was very clear that an age-based approach was going to be the best way that we can prevent those serious outcomes.”
The National Advisory Committee on Immunization is recommending essential workers be included as part of the second stage, which currently only includes an expanded list of health-care workers and Manitobans over the age of 80.
“We are going to look at things like essential workers going forward,” said Reimer, but she noted that right now, the focus is those who are at the highest risk of contracting COVID-19.
“You know, we have some time before we have enough vaccine available to open up to groups like that, and we want to use that time to make some informed decisions.”
Reimer said the science continues to evolve and as that happens, officials can look at local epidemiology and other factors to determine where essential workers should fall and if they will even be included on any kind of list.
—With files from CTV’s Danton Unger.