Manitoba has expanded eligibility for the second dose of a COVID-19 vaccine to anyone who received a first dose of either the Moderna or Pfizer-BioNTech vaccines or before March 29.
Johanu Botha, the provincial vaccine task force operations lead, made the announcement Wednesday during a morning technical briefing for reporters.
Manitobans can book appointments on the province’s website or by calling 1-844-626-8222.
All Manitobans 12 and up have been eligible for a first dose appointment since May 14.
Second dose appointments for the mRNA-based Pfizer and Moderna vaccines opened up on Friday to those with select health conditions. Second dose appointments opened to Indigenous Manitobans on Monday.
Second dose appointments will continue to be opened up based on when individuals received their first shot.
Manitoba continues to recommend those who have received one dose of the AstraZeneca-Oxford vaccine, which uses a viral vector technology, to wait at least 12 weeks before getting their second dose. The first Manitobans who got the AstraZeneca vaccine in March will hit the 12-week mark next week, Botha said.
Some can get their second AstraZeneca dose prior to that 12-week period, provided a pharmacist or doctor explains the clinical benefits and risks, which could include developing less long-term protection against COVID-19.
The news on second doses comes as the province faces the worst infection rates in North America and officials float the idea of offering prizes to people who get the shot.
Health and government officials on Tuesday repeated their pleas for the public to get vaccinated and remain cautious for the three weeks it takes to build up immunity.
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Lanette Siragusa, chief nursing officer for Manitoba Shared Health, said Tuesday that 12 patients were admitted to intensive care units on Monday and over two-thirds were either not vaccinated or had received the vaccine only days earlier and were not sufficiently protected.
Premier Brian Pallister has said he intends to outline new ways to encourage people to get vaccinated.
An online survey issued by the government Monday, which asks respondents for their views on a variety of pandemic issues, also touches on the topic.
One question asks if people would be concerned about offering incentives to those who are vaccine hesitant.
Some of the ideas for incentives include prizes, free meals, payments of up to $100 or free admission to sporting events or museums.
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