Officials are expecting second-dose eligibility for second COVID-19 vaccines to fully open by the end of next week.
As of Wednesday morning, 70 per cent of all Manitobans 12-years-old and older have received their first COVID-19 vaccine. The province hit the 70 per cent milestone for adults earlier this month. To celebrate one million doses, the province is launching a campaign. As of Wednesday 1,077,421 doses of vaccine have been administered.
Vaccine eligibility for second doses is now extended to Manitobans who got their first dose on or before May 14. On Thursday, that is expanding to May 18. By the end of next week, all of Manitoba might be eligible for their second vaccine.
"We are comfortable dropping that eligibility, likely every single day, weekdays as opposed to that Monday, Wednesday, Friday schedule that we have been doing. That would put us approximately at that target at the end of next week to have all Manitobans eligible to book for their second dose," Operations lead Johanu Botha says in a Wednesday press conference.
This is not guaranteed, as Botha says it is not a "hard line in the sand" and could change.
Mobile clinics, community partners, and walk-in clinics are how the province expects to reach even more people.
To book an appointment, people can call 1-844-626-8222 (1-844-MAN-VACC) or go online.
"Beginning next week, we will be pivoting to a broader approach to walks-ins more generally at all of our sites. We are going to be adding capacity to our super sites, with the exception of RBC, to allow for walk-ins every day that a site is operating," Botha says. "You can show up on the day that works for you and you might be able to get vaccinated way earlier than you thought."
The downside to walk-ins is they could also lead to running out of walk-in doses earlier than anticipated. On Tuesday, the Leila super site facilitated walk-ins. This was exceptionally popular and the site ran out of walk-in vaccines earlier than expected. On Thursday, walk-ins will continue at 770 Leila Avenue from 9 a.m. to 3:45 p.m.
These will be for first-doses and those who have not gotten their second dose with or without a future appointment and are eligible.
Botha says while they have plenty of Moderna vaccines if they ran supersites at a 24/7 capacity centres would "run idle" once vaccines run out.
This week, 63,180 doses of Pfizer and 105,280 of Moderna are set to be delivered to the province. To date, 1,178,960 doses of vaccine have been delivered.
Moving closer to reopening
Last week, Dr. Brent Roussin revealed the 4-3-2-One Great Summer Reopening Path, which said if the province's vaccine uptake reaches 70 per cent for first-dose vaccinations and 25 per cent for second doses by Canada Day there would be a 25 per cent or greater opening capacity for businesses, services and facilities. Increased gathering sizes with restrictions for some sectors could also follow.
Different regions could be at different stages of reopening if uptake rates in all regions are lower than the 70 per cent goal and cases remain high. Overall the province's regions are varying with uptake as of Wednesday, with some as high as 86.5 per cent in the north, and as low as 17.1 in the south.