‘Get more vaccine into Manitobans’: Province will not hold back second dose of COVID-19 vaccine

WINNIPEG — The Manitoba government will not be holding back the second dose of the COVID-19 vaccine, saying it wants to see more people vaccinated going forward.

Premier Brian Pallister made the announcement while speaking with reporters on Wednesday, saying the province will be immunizing people with the vaccine doses they have, adding they have a “more confident” supply chain model for additional vaccines to arrive in the province.

“This approach will allow us to get more vaccine into Manitobans to safeguard them,” Pallister said.

The two vaccines currently approved in Canada, created by Pfizer-BioNTech and Moderna, both use two doses administered several weeks apart.

Gen. Rick Hillier, who is in charge of Ontario’s COVID-19 vaccination program, is asking Health Canada to consider authorizing the Moderna vaccine as a one-shot vaccine.

Pallister said the province will continue to hold back a “safety stock” of a week to 10 days of COVID-19 vaccines to withstand any short-term supply concerns.

“We are going to try to get as many vaccines out as safely as we can,” he said.

More details about the Moderna vaccine rollout are expected on Thursday, the premier said.

Pallister said the province is projecting 40,000 vaccines will be administered in Manitoba by the end of January 2021, which will primarily be going in the arms of front line health-care workers.

On Tuesday, Manitoba reported 2,477 COVID-19 immunizations were administered.

-With files from CTV’s Touria Izri.

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