Indigenous Manitobans who received the Pfizer-BioNTech vaccine at least 21 days ago or the Moderna vaccine at least 28 days ago can start booking appointments for their second dose starting Monday.
All eligible First Nations, Métis and Inuit people can book starting at 11:45 a.m. Monday. Eligible people are asked to hold off on calling until that time, said Dr. Marcia Anderson, head of Manitoba’s First Nations pandemic response team.
First Nations people have made up 40 to 60 per cent of all patients admitted to intensive care units during the second and third waves of the pandemic, Anderson said during an online video conference. First Nations people make up only about 10 per cent of the population of the province.
“Of these First Nations people, currently two-thirds of them live outside of First Nations communities, and mostly in urban environments. That’s why it’s so important to get our communities both on and off reserve fully vaccinated as soon as possible.”
People can receive their second dose at a different location from where they got their first dose, as long as it’s the same type of vaccine as the first dose.
Currently, the vaccination rates are around 67 per cent among First Nations people living on-reserve in Manitoba and around 30 per cent for those living off-reserve.
Second-dose appointments open up for all people with certain medical conditions that put them at higher risk from COVID-19 on Friday. Bookings will then progress in the order in which people received their first dose, officials have said.
Throughout Manitoba’s first-dose vaccination campaign, the age of eligibility for First Nations was 20 years younger than the general population, in recognition of the higher risk First Nations people face.
All Manitobans 12 and up are now eligible to book an appointment for a first dose of a vaccine.
Reimer and Anderson’s announcement comes one day after Manitoba broke a new record for daily cases. The same day, Chief Provincial Public Health Officer Dr. Brent Roussin announced a further tightening of COVID-19 restrictions.
Starting Saturday, gathering with members of other households will be prohibited, except in cases of people living alone, who may have one designated visitor. Also, only one member of a household will be allowed to enter a business, with exceptions for single parents and caregivers.
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