Community-based eligibility for the COVID-19 vaccine is stopping as Manitoba's task force is moving back to age-based eligibility.
The province says 100,000 more people might be eligible for the COVID-19 vaccine in the next month.
"We now have a larger portion of Manitobans that we can vaccinate," Dr. Johanu Botha says in a Wednesday press briefing.
He says now that Health Canada has approved the Pfizer vaccine for those aged 12 and older. The task force does not yet know the details of this possible move. If the province decides to vaccinate the younger population this increase of eligible people will change the anticipated date of when first doses will be administered by. Prioritization of younger Manitobans will be evaluated.
Botha says first doses are expected to be completed by June 11 at the earliest and June 15 at the latest. All people aged 18 and older will be eligible to book an appointment by May 21, and if approved, 12 and older will be included in the May date.
"This, by and large, will be our approach going forward," Botha says. "We will return to age as sort of the main pillar."
Community-based eligibility is complete. This province is no longer prioritizing at-risk regions.
New age eligibility is being released for older Manitobans. Those aged 45 and older can book their appointment. Now that age-based eligibility is the main eligibility move, Manitobans can expect announcements on Mondays, Wednesdays, and Fridays. The province is estimating ages to move in five-year increments, but that could change.
Second doses will start being administered before the end of May.
"This will very likely be about May 22 or so."
The first cohort will be immunocompromised people or those with specific medical conditions that have not yet been named. A second cohort will be based on when a vaccine was administered.
"We will them moved down based on when individuals received their first dose."
There will be no "vaccine mixing" as studies between mixing vaccine brands are underway.
Manitoban will be alerted when they are eligible through announcements, including texts and emails.
The second Interlake-Eastern vaccine supersite is set to open in May, located at the Gimli Recreation Centre.
More than half a million Manitobans have received their first COVID-19 vaccine dose. Since starting vaccinations in December, 510,022 doses of vaccine have been administered.