Public health officers say vaccination plays a key role in getting back to normal.
Dr. Jazz Atwal is telling Manitobans that if they are eligible for the COVID-19 vaccine to book an appointment.
"I really encourage everyone, when your name is called, to get that vaccine," Atwal says.
On Friday morning, Manitoba's Chief Public Health Officer Dr. Brent Roussin was on the receiving end of "getting needles into arms," getting the AstraZeneca/Covishield vaccine.
"Vaccines are a safe, effective, life-saving intervention and I recommend you get the first vaccine you are eligible to receive," Roussin tweets.
I’m excited to get my first dose of AstraZeneca/Covishield vaccine today from Dr. @jossreimer to help protect my loved ones and my community. Vaccines are a safe, effective, life-saving intervention and I recommend you get the first vaccine you are eligible to receive. #Covid19MB pic.twitter.com/dNs6MPOEDh— Dr. Brent Roussin (@roussin_brent) March 19, 2021
"Happy to join Dr.@roussin_brent at a local clinic where I was able to administer his first dose of AstraZeneca/Covishield vaccine. He and I both agree that our best defence against #COVID19 is to get the first vaccine you can, as soon as you can," Reimer tweets.
Aware of concerns over other batches of the AstraZeneca vaccine in Europe concerning blood clots, Roussin shared that the batches in Canada are safe during a Monday press conference.
"I do not have any safety concerns with what we are administering in Canada," Roussin says, noting that the vaccines come from different "lots" than the ones of concern. "Even looking at that data, it is vet limited to support any concerning findings."
The Deputy says they want to be leaders, encouraging others to get the vaccine.
"Not only are we preaching people getting vaccines but we are showing that it is safe to get that vaccine as well. The more that we can do to educate the population on the need for this vaccine, I think it is imperative that leaders continue to do that."
Atwal says "the uptake of a very safe vaccine" will directly correspond with the Public Health Orders, noting that the more Manitobans get vaccinated, the more likely there will be large public gatherings such as professional sports games or festivals.
"When we look at vaccines and a really good uptake amongst Manitobans what does that allow us to do and how does that look? I think those are the questions we are asking right now," Atwal says.
There are currently less than 100,000 Manitobans who have received a COVID-19 dose. The province's hope is to vaccine everyone who wants it by the end of May. When this happens, thousands of Manitobans might be able to enjoy summer activities together.
"That opens up the doors with really good vaccine uptake to have some other things to occur. Could it happen sooner than that? Sure. Could it happen in some unique circumstances before that as well? Sure."
Hoping to alleviate vaccination concerns, the province is creating an ad campaign, including myth-busting such as "Vitamin D supplements can prevent or even treat COVID-19, so I don’t need a vaccine."