COVID-19: Manitoba launches effort to vaccinate kids 5-11

Manitoba’s effort to get kids aged five-11 vaccinated against COVID-19 is going into full swing Thursday.

Health officials announced Wednesday afternoon that it had also started vaccinations — a day ahead of schedule — due to shipments of the pediatric vaccine arriving earlier than expected.

Read more: Manitoba says more than 15K vaccination appointments made for kids 5-11 Monday morning

But the full push to get shots into arms kicks off Thursday with a photo op at the Winnipeg supersite in RBC Convention Centre at noon.

The province says health minister Audrey Gordon will be joined by vaccine implementation task force lead, Dr. Joss Reimer, and pediatrician and parent Dr. Jared Bullard as kids get their shots.

Click to play video: 'Kids vaccine appointments to focus on comfort' Kids vaccine appointments to focus on comfort

Kids vaccine appointments to focus on comfort

Global News will stream the event live in this story.

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Manitoba opened up vaccine eligibility for kids aged five-11 Monday and officials said more than 22,000 appointments had been booked by Wednesday afternoon.

Read more: Manitoba reports 147 COVID-19 cases, 3 deaths

Reimer said Wednesday there are enough vaccines to provide a first dose to all of the roughly 125,000 children in the five-to-11 age group across Manitoba.

The shots will be administered at regional vaccine clinics, physician clinics, urban Indigenous clinics, pharmacies and pop-up community clinics and will be available in some schools in the coming days and weeks.

Click to play video: 'Manitoba First Nations to receive vaccines for kids Thursday' Manitoba First Nations to receive vaccines for kids Thursday

Manitoba First Nations to receive vaccines for kids Thursday

The pediatric vaccine requires two doses of 10 micrograms each  — one-third of the dose for adults.

Appointments can be booked by calling 1-844-626-8222 or through the province’s website.

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Read more: Can I get a COVID-19 vaccine yet in Manitoba? How to book it and where to go

Pfizer submitted its trial data to Health Canada on Oct. 1 for evaluation, and the full submission for approval on Oct. 18. Health Canada approved the vaccine Nov. 19.

The drug manufacturer’s clinical trial data showed that the vaccine had 91 per cent efficacy against COVID-19 in this age group.

– with files from The Canadian Press

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.

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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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