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Manitoba pharmacists want to be able to vaccinate kids as young as 5


Pharmacists in Manitoba are urging the provincial government to allow them to vaccinate kids aged five and older.

On Monday, Pharmacists Manitoba, a non-profit representing pharmacists in the province, released a statement calling on Health Minister Audrey Gordon to request and sign off on an order in council to allow pharmacists to vaccinate those as young as five.

Under current regulations, pharmacists can administer vaccines to those seven years of age and older.

Pharmacists Manitoba’s request comes as it anticipates the federal government will soon approve the COVID-19 vaccine for kids as young as five years old. The non-profit said without the change, Manitobans could end up confused and frustrated.

“You could imagine as a parent, if you had a five-year-old and an eight-year-old that it would be very frustrating and confusing if you could go to the pharmacy for your eight-year-old, but not your five-year-old,” said Ashley Hart, president of Pharmacists Manitoba.

Hart noted some other provinces allow pharmacists to administer vaccines to kids five and older, with some even allowing them to administer vaccines to those as young as two.

“Pharmacists have really been frontline health-care providers throughout the pandemic, and have really been a source of trusted and valuable information for the public,” she said.

“We want to continue that as well, and we really want to be the easy, convenient, accessible resource for everyone, including your children.”

The non-profit said it requested an order in council from Gordon due to the timeliness of the matter, but would prefer a regulation change.

“[An order in council] is a much more timely option. It allows for faster implementation, which, of course, is what we’re looking for,” Hart said, noting that a regulatory change is more “cumbersome” with a longer time frame involved.

Pharmacists Manitoba is asking its members and the public to contact provincial representatives to advocate for the change.

Hart noted the organization has a meeting with Gordon in the coming weeks.

- With files from CTV’s Daniel Halmarson. Top Stories

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