A vaccine shipment disruption is majorly impacting when the province expects Manitoba to reach 70 per cent of the population with their first COVID-19 dose.

Eligibility for Manitoban who received their first COVID-19 vaccine on April 3 or earlier can now book their second dose. to date, 816,984 vaccinations have been given in Manitoba, including first and second doses.

Johanu Botha, the operations lead of Mantiba's COVID-19 vaccine task force says while this week saw their centres flex their full capacity and delivering a total of 98,533 doses and bring Manitoba to the top spot for vaccines per capital in the country for all adults, and second for all aged 12 and older.

per capita 18Manitoba ranks first for doses per 100,000 people in Canada for adults, and second behind Alberta for those 12 and older. (Government of Manitoba)

"We had a bit of a week to flex some capacity muscle," Botha says in a Friday media briefing. "It is a great week." 

Next week will be a different story.

"Everything up to this point has been fairly rosy. It is nice to see how we are doing this week, it is nice to see where we are in per capita of doses administered on the rankings but what we see for next week that the 38,000 (doses) that were were hoping to get this week of Moderna, administered next week is not coming. It is not here."

The province is expecting 14,000 doses to arrive next week, less than half that was expected for this week. 

The slowing of Moderna will impact the province as a whole, as Pfizer is the only vaccine those aged 12-17 can receive in Manitoba and the province is not giving out any more first AstraZeneca doses.

immunization forecastSupply changes have altered the projection for when 70 per cent of Manitobans will be vaccinated with their first dose, but will not make a big difference in second dose timelines.. (Government of Manitoba)

With the slowdown, Botha says by June 30, at the latest, 70 per cent of all Manitobans aged 12 and older will receive their first dose of vaccine. Previously that expected date was June 9.

"It is a slight change when we look at the percentage, but 3 per cent of Manitoban is still approximately 33,000 fewer Manitobans than we originally expected vaccinated by June 9."

Monday, Wednesday, and Thursday's eligibility announcements will continue for second-dose appointments. Botha is expecting, as he has seen, people enthusiastically book second dose appointments.

"Perhaps more first doses will book enthusiastically, but we are seeing first dose appointments levelling off."

The province says they have not seen a clear vaccination appointment time preference.

Botha says because of this levelling off, some Manitobans are getting their second doses quicker due to that enthusiasm to book appointments. Botha says there should not be a planning issue if this is the case, but might be a public health concern if people hold off from booking their second doses due to worries over vaccine supply. He is encouraging Manitobas to book both their first and second doses at their first chance.