Health officials to give COVID-19 vaccine update for Manitoba as variant cases surge

Manitoba health officials will give a COVID-19 vaccine update on Wednesday as new public health restrictions begin in an effort to stem the growing tide of new cases and variants of concern.

Dr. Joss Reimer, medical lead of Manitoba’s COVID-19 vaccine implementation task force, will be joined by Johanu Botha, operations lead of the task force.

CBC Manitoba will live stream the 12:30 p.m. news conference here and on Facebook, Twitter and CBC Gem.

The caseload of the more contagious variants in Manitoba rose by more than 300 to 687 on Tuesday. Nearly half of those have popped up in Winnipeg.

Earlier this week, the province announced that every adult living and working in the Northern Health Region and people who live and some people who work in the Seven Oaks west health area in Winnipeg are eligible to book an appointment for a coronavirus vaccine.

It’s part of the plan to expand vaccine eligibility to people living in COVID-19 hot spots — areas selected based on public health data from the pandemic’s second wave and the ongoing third wave.

The first hot spots eligibile were announced last week: the areas of Inkster west, Point Douglas south and downtown east in Winnipeg.

Eligibility in those areas covers residents 18 and older and those working in specified front-line jobs, even if they live elsewhere.

Everywhere else, people 40 and older are eligible to get the AstraZeneca shot at a pharmacy or clinic. A list of sites taking bookings is available on the province’s vaccine finder map.

The age of eligibility to get a Pfizer or Moderna vaccine at one of the province’s supersites or temporary clinics remains 50 and older for all Manitobans, and First Nations people 30 and up.

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