Manitoba expands second-dose COVID-19 vaccine eligibility
WINNIPEG -- The Manitoba government has expanded eligibility for the second dose of the COVID-19 vaccine.
On Wednesday, Johanu Botha, co-lead for the Vaccine Implementation Task Force, said beginning at 11:45 a.m. on Wednesday, those who received their first dose March 29 or earlier can book their appointments.
“We’ll be emailing everyone that we have contact information for, but if you know this is you, you don’t have to wait for us to book,” Botha said.
Second-dose eligibility was previously open to those with certain priority health conditions and Indigenous Manitobans 12 years of age and older.
To book a second-dose appointment, people must have received the Pfizer vaccine 21 days before their second-dose appointment date or the Moderna vaccine 28 days before their second-dose appointment date.
For the second dose, they must receive the same vaccine that they received for the first dose.
Information about vaccine doses can be found online, or by calling a local public health office.
Dr. Joss Reimer, medical lead for the Vaccine Implementation Task Force, said receiving both doses of the COVID-19 vaccine will provide the fullest possible protection against the virus. She added having both doses will also ease self-isolation requirements if a person is a close contact to a COVID-19 case.
“If you are fully vaccinated – that means two weeks after you receive both doses – you will no longer be required to self-isolate if you are a close contact of a COVID case, so long as you don’t have any symptoms,” she said, adding Public Health officials will confirm if you are exempt based on your situation.
With the province still using the same vaccines that people have received for second doses, Reimer said the province has received multiple questions about second doses from people who have received the AstraZeneca COVID-19 vaccine.
Reimer said the province is looking to receive information from a study in the United Kingdom about mixing vaccines, which she said will help make a decision on shifting its vaccine policies.
She said the province still recommends people receive their second dose of the AstraZeneca vaccine 12 weeks after their first dose, but people who believe they are at higher risk of contracting COVID-19 can consult with a pharmacist or a physician to see if they can get a second shot sooner.
Reimer said every vaccine currently available in Manitoba is safe and effective, and those who chose to receive the AstraZeneca vaccine made the right decision.
“You protected yourself, you protected your families,” she said. “You may have been exposed to COVID over the past few months, and because you received that vaccine, you prevented an infection.”
Botha said the province is still waiting for a Moderna shipment confirmation for June. He said this quite likely will result in a low-supply scenario for Moderna for June and July.
Botha noted the province has not yet changed its projection for when the COVID-19 vaccine campaign will end. However, the Moderna delays could change projections.
Manitoba said under a high-supply scenario, it expects that Manitobans will get their first dose by June 7 and the second dose by July 29. Under a low-supply scenario, it expects Manitobans will get their first dose by June 9 and the second dose by July 31.
- With files from CTV’s Michelle Gerwing.