News Releases

News Release - Manitoba

June 29, 2021

Community-Led, Targeted Vaccine Outreach Efforts to Deliver 20,000 More Doses to Achieve Vaccination Targets

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25 Community Grants will Provide $390,000 to Support Vaccine Uptake in Low Immunization Communities: Pallister

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The Manitoba government is partnering with community-led organizations to increase COVID-19 vaccination uptake, help protect Manitobans and ensure the province reaches its vaccination targets as quickly as possible, Premier Brian Pallister announced today.

“Getting as many Manitobans vaccinated as quickly and safely as they can is key to ending this pandemic and getting our lives back,” said Pallister. “Our community-hosted vaccination program will make it easier for people from all walks of life to get vaccinated in way that is comfortable and accessible to them.”

The first 25 projects have been selected to receive more than $390,000 through the ProtectMB Community Outreach and Incentive Grant. This initiative provides support to sport, religious, arts, cultural and community organizations, businesses and schools to encourage vaccinations and uptake rates in communities with lower immunization rates.

Funded projects include:
• Steinbach Community Outreach, which works with local people who do not have phone or internet access, will host a BBQ in partnership with a local clinic, where medical professionals will provide information and answer questions about vaccination;
• Macdonald Youth Services, guided by its youth peer council, will co-ordinate outreach and education with the diverse youth it serves including Indigenous youth, youth aging out of care, those experiencing poverty and homelessness, LGBTQ2S+ youth, immigrant youth, and youth with mental health and addiction issues; and
• the Hindu Society of Manitoba will host a pop-up vaccination clinic at the Hindu Temple and Dr. Raj Pandey Hindu Centre on July 9, with funding to be used to promote vaccination, engage with community members and to connect people who are unsure or have questions about the vaccine with a health-care professional. 

The Hindu Society of Manitoba plans to also use seminars, community-focused promotion and educational materials to increase awareness and encourage high levels of uptake at the vaccine clinic.

“We are excited to be one of the recipients of the community grant. By supporting community-driven projects, we believe that our efforts will be extremely effective in reaching those in our community that have not been able to get a vaccine yet,” Kirit Thakrar, president, Hindu Society of Manitoba. “This funding will be used to further our vaccine education efforts, and provide a safe and comfortable place for members of the community to get their vaccine.”

These initiatives will support the province’s Community Partners for Vaccine Administration, which is supplying 20,000 vaccine doses for community-level administration. This will help overcome barriers to vaccine accessibility and facilitate vaccine uptake in community and business-hosted organizations, the premier noted.

As an example, the province is working with NFI Group Inc. to provide vaccines to their staff and family members, who do not have the flexibility or means to attend a super site.

“A short employee survey followed by some quick dialogue and co-operation with the vaccine task force is allowing us to host a number of clinics directly at our New Flyer Transcona and MCI Fort Garry facilities,” said Paul Soubry, president and CEO, NFI Group Inc.. “Early indications are that we will be able to vaccinate about 1,000 members of our team and their family members, about half of which have not yet had their first dose.”

The province has also established a system where community partners and congregate living facilities with suitable medical staff or existing capacity to administer immunizations can order vaccines and manage their own vaccine outreach efforts. This can include sites like correctional facilities, hospitals, personal care homes, and organizations such as St. Amant.

Last week, St. Amant delivered about 500 doses of vaccine to people with disabilities and support staff and their families at a drive-thru clinic. As a result, many people who would not be well served at a super site or other clinic were able to be immunized in a comfortable location from people with expertise in supporting people with additional needs.

“St. Amant’s goal is to support and enhance the vaccine campaign by helping vulnerable people who are not well served at a super site to access their vaccine; this includes people with disabilities as well as staff and their family members,” said John Leggat, president and CEO of St. Amant. “We saw people who had tried unsuccessfully to get their vaccine up to four times previously and we were finally able to support them. Our organization and our community is grateful to the province for supporting this initiative, and to all of our staff and volunteers who made it happen.”

More information about all 25 projects funded by the ProtectMB Community Outreach and Incentive Grant are available online at Applications are reviewed on an ongoing basis and successful projects will be regularly updated.

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