Teachers and education workers in the province will soon be eligible for COVID-19 vaccines under Manitoba and North Dakota's Essential Workers Cross-Border Vaccination Initiative.

Premier Brian Pallister announced Thursday that the expanded program would allow those sector workers to join truckers, and drive across the international boundary to get their shot and come home.

"The isolation requirements that are normally there for people that return from the United States will not apply...remembering that the way this will work is that the person will go across the border, get a vaccine and must come immediately back, they're not going shopping in Grand Forks - let's be clear about that," says Pallister.

The North Dakota Department of Transportation’s rest area near Drayton, North Dakota, is currently serving as the program's vaccination site.

The goal of this latest extension, according to Pallister, is obvious - to keep Manitoba schools open during the ongoing pandemic.

"Our children learn best when they're in a school, but we need that environment in that school to be as safe as possible, and as soon as possible we need to have our staff given that vaccine," he adds.

Final details of the expanded program are still being worked out between the Province of Manitoba and State of North Dakota, with more information expected next week.