WINNIPEG -- Although Manitoba is still waiting for information on how much supply of the AstraZeneca COVID-19 vaccine it will receive, the members of the vaccination task force are making plans for how to administer the vaccine, and who will receive it.

During a briefing Wednesday morning, Dr. Joss Reimer, the medical lead of the Vaccine Implementation Task Force, said the first doses of the AstraZeneca vaccine could go to people between the ages of 50 and 65 years old.

“Within that group, we are trying to identify who is the highest-risk, so we’re finalizing the details of who that group would be now, and trying to take advantage of every data that we have available, and get as much clinical input as we can,” Reimer said.

Reimer said high priority folks could be, for example, people with kidney disease or on dialysis, though a final decision has not been made.

Reimer said the reason for picking this age group is based on the recommendations of the National Advisory Committee on Immunization (NACI), who advise against using the vaccine on those ages 65 and older due to limited data from the vaccine trial.

Reimer said Manitoba will follow NACI’s recommendations.

Currently, members of the public born on or before Dec. 31, 1930, and First Nations people born on or before Dec. 31, 1950, can book appointments for the vaccine.

The task force said they have not received confirmed information yet on how many doses of the AstraZeneca vaccine Manitoba will receive, but said doses are expected to arrive in the middle of March.

The current timeline for vaccination completion has not been changed, but will change depending on vaccine supply. Under the low supply scenario, the general public vaccination is forecasted to be completed by the end of November, while the high-supply scenario would be completed by the end of August.

Focused Immunization Teams will be heading into congregate living facilities this week to administer the first vaccine doses to 4,800 residents.

All personal care home residents in Manitoba who wanted the COVID-19 vaccine have received both doses as of last week.

Manitoba is estimating an average of 2,277 injections per day will occur in March, based on current supply projections.

Manitoba also updated the age criteria for COVID-19 vaccinations.

Manitobans aged 89 years and older, and First Nations people aged 69 years and older, are eligible to book an appointment for the COVID-19 vaccine now. The province added to simplify the process, individuals can book appointments based on their age on the date of booking.