The province is confident those who received the AstraZeneca vaccine recently will receive their second dose on time.

The AstraZeneca COVID-19 vaccine jumped in popularity last week when eligibility changed to those aged 40 and older. An estimated close to 60,000 doses have been administered to date but data is still rolling in.

According to the province's COVID-19 immunization dashboards, 84,100 doses of AstraZeneca have arrived in Manitoba. The province is allocating these vaccines for use in medical clinics and pharmacies. According to that same dashboard 24,673 of the total doses in the province are "being administered."

dashb (Government of Manitoba)
dash b(Government of Manitoba)


This means is they are not yet administered. Many of these doses are likely to be slated for use in upcoming appointments. A spokesperson says there is a lag on the dashboard of one to five days as they wait for the nearly 400 vaccination partners to submit their vaccination information. As of Wednesday afternoon, more than three dozen locations had available appointments.

Johanu Botha, co-lead of the vaccination task force in Manitoba, says approximately 60,000 doses of the AstraZeneca vaccine have been administered, leaving closer to 20,000 of the doses administered.

Reimer echos Botha's statement.

"Yesterday when we talked to folks in the distribution channel they told us they were estimating somewhere around 25,000 doses remaining, so today could certainly be more like 20,000 or 22,000," Reimer says.

For the remaining doses, they are set to expire by May 31 at the earliest. Others do not expire until June.

"Certainly our intent would be that all twenty-something thousand of them would be administered long before May 31," the doctor says.

Reimer says while worldwide there are shipment delays, she is certain those who received the AstraZeneca vaccine will have their second in time.

"For AstraZeneca, the clinical guidance is to wait at least 12 weeks in between doses because we saw in the trial those who received their second doses more than 12 weeks after the first dose had a much higher efficacy than those who were at the four-week mark."

Botha and Reimer say the federal government has not been able to give confirmation dates of shipments arrivals because of India's current export ban, but both are confident more doses are coming.

Reimer says in the off-chance there are issues getting more AstraZeneca doses from the supplier in time they will be ready. The province's backup plan is to give a second dose of the vaccine type if needed. This also applies to Moderna and Pfizer.

The province recently took a week and a half to give out 100,000 vaccinations, a record for the system. The doses currently in freezers are expected to run out in 10 days if no new shipments arrive. 

Earlier there were concerns over a rare clotting side effect, which remains. The chance of getting a blood clot with AstraZeneca is one in 100,000 people, versus in birth control which has a risk of clotting in one in 1,600. One Canadian has died from a blood clot associated with this vaccine.