All Manitobans over the age of 60 and all adults on First Nations can immediately receive a third dose of a COVID-19 vaccine if they’ve received their second dose on or before July 10, the province announced Friday.
This announcement reduces the waiting period between second and third doses for those eligible persons to five months from six.
All other adults still have to wait six months between second and third doses.
Dr. Marcia Anderson, public health lead of Manitoba’s First Nation Pandemic response team, called it welcome news ahead of holiday gatherings as it will help protect First Nations people at greater risk of severe outcomes from COVID-19.
Currently, First Nations uptake on third doses is lower than it could be. As of Thursday, a little more than 11,200 of 29,600 eligible First Nations people had received a third dose.
The slow uptake is “concerning,” Anderson said.
She believes this could be the result of only approximately 20 of 63 Manitoba First Nations communities having active cases of coronavirus.
“If you live in a community with lower case counts, please don’t be lulled into thinking that you can put off your booster dose or that it won’t make a difference, or that it’s not necessary,” Anderson said.
She strongly encourages anyone who is eligible to receive their third dose of the vaccine to do so before the holiday season arrives.
“What we have seen, though, is that when a COVID-19 cluster starts, it can spread rapidly in our communities,” she said.
Individuals who are unsure of the date of their last immunization can check their record here.
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