WINNIPEG — Manitoba is set to administer 20,000 doses of the COVID-19 vaccine with the help of community organizations and businesses.
On Tuesday, the province announced it has selected 25 community projects to receive more than $390,000 through its ProtectMB Community Outreach and Incentive Grant.
The goal of this initiative is to provide support to organizations, businesses, and schools to help increase vaccine uptake, particularly in communities with low vaccination rates.
Premier Brian Pallister noted the province’s current challenge is to reach out to residents experiencing vaccine hesitancy. He said there are several reasons someone may feel hesitant, including accessibility, physical location, language barriers, and cultural and religious beliefs and practices.
“We know from research and clinical leadership that there are thousands of Manitobans who are open to getting a vaccine, that would be ready to get a vaccine, I’m just not the guy to persuade them,” Pallister said.
“Perhaps you are. The person in their neighbourhood, the person they attend church with, the person they volunteer with at a community organization of some kind. These are the people to persuade.”
Some of the organizations selected for the grant include Steinbach Community Outreach, Macdonald Youth Services, and the Hindu Society of Manitoba.
These organizations plan to provide outreach and education to the communities they serve to supply information and answer questions on the COVID-19 vaccine. The Hindu Society of Manitoba is also hosting a pop-up vaccination clinic at the Hindu Temple and Dr. Raj Pandey Hindu Centre on July 9.
Kirit Thakrar, president of the Hindu Society of Manitoba, said this grant will be used to promote vaccinations, connect with people who may have difficulty accessing the vaccine, and provide a safe and comfortable place for people to get their vaccinations.
“Pop-up clinics such as this are even more important for communities like ours, where many are newcomers or English may not be their first language,” he said.
“We plan to have volunteers and experts on-site that can assist in vaccination efforts and can answer any questions about vaccines.”
The province noted it is supplying 20,000 COVID-19 vaccine doses for community-level administration.
A NEW RECORD
Pallister said that on Monday, Manitoba set a provincial record and vaccinated more than 35,000 people in a single day.
“That’s a new daily record and I want to commend our vaccine task force for this work that they’ve done,” he said.
“It’s been tremendous work, historic work, right? This is a project that we’ve never undertaken before and never want to undertake again.”
Pallister added that Manitoba needs another 51,000 first-dose appointments by Labour Day to hit the province’s reopening milestones.
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