How Manitoba plans to use the AstraZeneca COVID-19 vaccine
A nurse fills a syringe with the AstraZeneca COVID-19 vaccine at a health care center in Seoul Friday, Feb. 26, 2021. (Jung Yeon-je /Pool Photo via AP)
WINNIPEG -- The group responsible for determining the rollout of the COVID-19 vaccine in Manitoba has made plans for who will receive the AstraZeneca COVID-19 vaccine once it arrives in the province.
During a Friday morning news conference, Dr. Joss Reimer, the chair of the province's vaccination task force, confirmed the AstraZeneca vaccine will be used for people ages 50 to 64 years of age. The vaccine will be administered in pharmacies and doctors' offices that applied to administer the vaccine.
"We'll be recommending that the doses be prioritized for people in that age category who have a serious health condition that puts them at higher risk of serious outcomes," Reimer said. "We have created, and we've finalized the list of priority conditions that we expect the pharmacists and physicians to be prioritizing. I'm hopeful that we'll be sharing that list with all of the locations that will be immunizing with AstraZeneca later today."
The vaccine is currently not recommended for people age 65 and older due to limited trial data from the age group.
However, Reimer is reminding Manitobans that they can't yet book an appointment to receive the AstraZeneca vaccine, noting that physicians and pharmacists will need time to create their plans for immunization.
"We want to give them that time to create their own plans about how they'll be setting appointments, and whether or not they'll be reaching out to their patient populations, or if they'll be setting up a system for patients to call in and book their own appointment," Reimer said. "Once we've given them that chance to review the criteria and to set up the system for booking, we will then release the list of priority conditions for Manitobans to see."
Reimer indicated on Wednesday that people with liver disease or on dialysis for kidney disease could be among the conditions on the list.
Reimer said the federal government told them Manitoba should expect 18,000 doses of the AstraZeneca vaccine next week.