WINNIPEG -- As the province prepares to give its first doses of COVID-19 vaccines on Wednesday, it's being flooded with calls from ineligible people.

Booking opened for the vaccine on Saturday, and the province said it received more than 100,000 phone calls, many from ineligible people.

With only 900 doses available right now, the province made specific criteria for getting the shot first.

As chosen by Manitoba's vaccine implementation task force, the first group to get the vaccine is health-care workers whose work involves direct contact with patients and fall under one of these criteria:

  • work in critical care units, born on or before Dec. 31, 1970
  • work in acute care facilities, born on or before Dec. 31, 1960
  • work in long term care facilities, born on or before Dec. 31, 1960
  • be assigned to COVID-19 immunization clinics

The province said it only shared a dedicated phone number to book appointments internally within the health-care system. It is reminding Manitobans to call only for an appointment if you are an eligible front-line health-care provider.

Despite the influx of calls, the province said only about half of the available vaccines have been booked. The province said the current eligible group is larger than the 900 doses.