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Media Bulletin - Manitoba

September 2, 2022

COVID-19 BULLETIN #583



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Manitoba Health is announcing the first groups who are eligible to receive the COVID-19 bivalent vaccine, which was approved by Health Canada earlier this week for people aged 18 and older. Bivalent means this vaccine has been developed to provide protection against two strains of COVID-19: the original strain of the virus and the omicron variant.

Based on expected vaccine shipments and public health recommendations on who should receive the vaccine first, initial eligibility criteria includes:

  • adults aged 65 or older;
  • Indigenous people aged 18 or older, regardless of where they live;
  • adults of any age with higher-risk medical conditions, including people who are immunocompromised due to a health condition or medication;
  • health-care workers aged 18 or older; and
  • residents of personal care homes and other congregate living facilities including assisted living, group homes, shelters and correctional facilities.

Individuals must complete their primary series of vaccine (usually two doses) before they can receive the bivalent vaccine. It is recommended to wait six months from the last dose of vaccine or COVID-19 infection. However, individuals who meet the criteria can receive the bivalent vaccine after a minimum of three months, if they feel they are at increased risk. The bivalent vaccine can be given at the same time as other immunizations. This will include the seasonal flu vaccine, once it becomes available this fall.

Appointments for the bivalent vaccine are expected to be available in mid-September. Eligible people will be able to make appointments starting next week through the online vaccine booking tool, the vaccine call centre at (toll-free) 1-844-626-8222 (1-844-MAN-VACC) or by contacting medical clinics and pharmacies directly. More details on when booking will be open will be available in the coming days. Visit https://gov.mb.ca/covid19/vaccine/finder.html for details. This vaccine will also be provided to First Nations communities for immunization campaigns.

Manitoba expects to receive its first shipment of 27,650 doses of vaccine next week, which will then be distributed to vaccine locations across the province. A second shipment of 77,600 doses is confirmed for the week of Sept. 12 and additional vaccine deliveries are expected in the following weeks. The province expects to be able to expand eligibility for the bivalent vaccine to all Manitobans aged 18 and older in the coming weeks, based on vaccine supplies and initial uptake among eligible groups. Updates will continue to be provided about eligibility and supply.

Also starting on Sept. 12, anyone aged 12 and older can access a fall booster of the monovalent (original) vaccine if they choose. This aligns with the National Advisory Committee on Immunization’s recommendations for access to fall boosters. However, it is recommended that everyone wait for access to a bivalent vaccine in the coming weeks, as it provides additional protection from COVID-19.

Walk-in vaccinations will no longer be available at RBC Convention Centre after Saturday, Sept. 10. The last day of operations at the convention centre will be Sept. 17. The first appointments at the vaccine clinic opening at 1680 Notre Dame Ave. will be Tuesday, Sept. 20. Walk-ins will not be available at this location.

As part of ongoing work to build capacity and support immunization outreach across the province, Manitoba’s policies have been updated to allow pharmacists to give COVID-19 and seasonal flu vaccines to individuals aged two and older.

The EngageMB survey on the bivalent vaccine remains open to feedback from Manitobans until Sept. 9. To participate, visit https://engagemb.ca.

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