This story will be updated when the press conference begins and throughout the conference as it runs.
All Mantiobans who have received a first-dose of the COVID-19 vaccine can book a second shot appointment as soon as they become eligible as of Friday.
Manitoba’s vaccine implementation task force lead operations lead, Johanu Botha, says second-dose appointments can start being made as of 11:45 a.m.
“We want it to be your turn to get immunized as quickly as possible,” Botha said.
Officials have previously advised waiting at least 28 days between first and second doses.
Second-dose eligibility for COVID-19 vaccine had already expanded Thursday to include people who received their first dose on or before June 6.
Botha also said Thursday walk-in shots are now being made available without appointments at all Manitoba vaccination supersites aside from the one at RBC Convention Centre in Winnipeg.
He said priority for walk-in shots will be made for those getting their fist dose, but those looking for second shot can also try to take advantage of the option.
“Our goal is to provide this flexible option to as many people as we can,” he said, adding the number of shots available for walk-ins will vary at each location.
Botha said the move comes as the province expects to receive hundreds of thousands of doses of the Moderna vaccine in “the very near future.”
He said that means the task force is working out ways to expand reach and access to the vaccine, including testing extended clinic hours at the RBC Convention Centre and Leila Avenue super sites in Winnipeg from 8 a.m. to 10 p.m. on June 28.
“Nothing is off the table, so certainly, extending hours further, with more supply coming in, is under consideration,” he said.
More doses are also being sent to pharmacies and doctor’s offices, Both said.
Between June 14 and 27 Both said the province expects to ship nearly 60,000 doses of mRNA vaccine to pharmacies and medical clinics, with another nearly 20,000 shots expected to be sent the following week.
Currently anyone age 12 and up is eligible to book a first-dose appointment or receive a walk-in shot in Manitoba.
Because young Manitobans between the ages of 12 and 17 are only eligible for the Pfizer vaccine — for which there is a shortage in the province — adults with Pfizer appointments can now transfer their own Pfizer appointments to their children.
Botha called the transferring of Pfizer appointments “an interim solution.”
“The Pfizer supply line will stabilize, we’ll still get the same amount of Pfizer as we expected by the end of July,” he said.
First- and second-dose vaccine appointments can be made by calling 1-844-626-8222 (1-844-MAN-VACC) or visiting the province’s website.
As of Thursday 1,230,086 first and second doses of vaccine have been administered in Manitoba, according to a provincial site tracking the shots.
That means 71.9 per cent of Manitobans have received one dose and 30.8 per cent have received two shots, according to the site.
Manitoba is expecting a delivery of 87,750 doses of Pfizer vaccine this week, and three shipments of Moderna totaling 240,520 doses by early next week.
Questions about COVID-19? Here are some things you need to know:
Symptoms can include fever, cough and difficulty breathing — very similar to a cold or flu. Some people can develop a more severe illness. People most at risk of this include older adults and people with severe chronic medical conditions like heart, lung or kidney disease. If you develop symptoms, contact public health authorities.
To prevent the virus from spreading, experts recommend frequent handwashing and coughing into your sleeve. They also recommend minimizing contact with others, staying home as much as possible and maintaining a distance of two metres from other people if you go out. In situations where you can’t keep a safe distance from others, public health officials recommend the use of a non-medical face mask or covering to prevent spreading the respiratory droplets that can carry the virus. In some provinces and municipalities across the country, masks or face coverings are now mandatory in indoor public spaces.
For full COVID-19 coverage from Global News, visit our coronavirus page.
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