It almost feels surreal to be sharing information about the COVID-19 immunization campaign in Manitoba. Last year at this time, we were just beginning to wrap our heads around the potential impact of this virus, but the vaccines are arriving.

Here are some updates for today, Friday, March 5, 2021 as well as some helpful information:

  • To access current vaccine eligibility criteria for Manitobans: Province of Manitoba | Eligibility Criteria
  • To access the queue calculator to see how many Manitobans are likely to be immunized before you (based on your profile): https://www.gov.mb.ca/covid19/vaccine/queue-calculator.html
  • With AstraZeneca vaccine doses expected to start rolling in next week, Manitoba Public Health announced today it plans to distribute these to participating medical clinics and pharmacies. Based on guidance from the National Advisory Committee on Immunization (NACI), Public Health is recommending the administration of this formulation to adults aged 50 to 64 years, with priority given to those at increased risk of experiencing serious outcomes. Appointments cannot be booked at this time, but additional info about how to book and who will be eligible to receive this vaccine will be provided in the coming days.
  • Today, Health Canada authorized the use of the Janssen (Johnson & Johnson) single-dose vaccine. More info will be forthcoming from Manitoba Public Health on this formulation. COVID-19 vaccines already authorized for use in Canada:
    • The Pfizer-BioNTech COVID-19 vaccine was authorized for use in Canada on December 9, 2020.
    • The Moderna COVID-19 vaccine was authorized for use in Canada on December 23, 2020.
    • The AstraZeneca COVID-19 vaccine was authorized for use in Canada on February 26, 2021.
  • On March 3, NACI stated that the second dose of COVID-19 vaccines can be given up to four months after the first, if Canada wants to maximize the number of people being immunized. To read more about this change, click here.
  • NACI recommends that all individuals should continue to practice recommended public health measures for prevention and control of SARS-CoV-2 infection and transmission regardless of vaccination with COVID-19 vaccine, at this time, due to insufficient evidence on the duration of protection and effectiveness of COVID-19 vaccines in preventing asymptomatic infection and reducing transmission of SARS-CoV-2.
  • Data about the efficacy of authorized mRNA COVID-19 vaccines (Pfizer-BioNTech COVID-19 vaccine, Moderna COVID-19 vaccine) and viral vector-based COVID-19 vaccine (AstraZeneca COVID-19 vaccine) against Variants of Concern (VOC is evolving).
  • Widespread first-dose COVID-19 immunizations will begin in First Nation communities throughout Manitoba. In total, 63 First Nation communities across the province, six northern rural municipalities and 47 Northern Affairs communities will be included in the community prioritization index. It is expected that all eligible, consenting adults who live in these prioritized communities will have received their first dose by mid-May. To read this update, click here.
  • As multiple vaccine formulations become available, you may be starting to wonder about efficacy rates, and what that term actually means. Here’s a good read via The New York Times: https://www.nytimes.com/interactive/2021/03/03/science/vaccine-efficacy-coronavirus.html 

To access vaccine information from the Government of Manitoba: https://www.gov.mb.ca/covid19/vaccine/index.html