Manitoba health-care workers get province’s first coronavirus vaccine doses

The first Manitobans to get the long-awaited COVID-19 vaccine will start to get their initial doses Wednesday morning.

The first inoculation is scheduled to start at about 8:20 a.m. Global News will stream the event live in this story.

Read more: Manitoba government receives 100K calls for COVID-19 vaccine appointments

Manitoba’s share of roughly 900 doses of Canada’s first shipment of the vaccine from Pfizer-BioNTech arrived in the province Tuesday morning.

The province has decided a priority group of health-care workers in critical care units will be the first to get the vaccine.

Click to play video 'Coronavirus: RBC Convention Centre in Winnipeg to become vaccination ‘super site’' Coronavirus: RBC Convention Centre in Winnipeg to become vaccination ‘super site’

Coronavirus: RBC Convention Centre in Winnipeg to become vaccination ‘super site’

As more shipments come in, priority will be given to other health-care workers, seniors and Indigenous people, the province has said.

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Wednesday’s shots will be given at a vaccination centre set up the University of Manitoba’s Rady Faculty of Health Sciences near the Health Sciences Centre and the province has said it expects to have all 900 doses administered by Friday.

Read more: Coronavirus: Vaccine arrives in Manitoba, first doses planned for Wednesday

All of those immunized at the first clinic will have their second dose administered at the province’s first “super site” vaccination clinic, expected to be set up at the RBC Convention Centre in Winnipeg early next year.

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The province says an ultra-low temperature freezer — needed to keep the vaccine viable — was installed at the convention centre Monday. Health officials say as well as a site for immunization, the convention centre will be used for vaccine storage, administration, and logistics once more doses arrive in the province.

Click to play video 'Coronavirus: Manitoba to begin administering COVID-19 vaccine Wednesday' Coronavirus: Manitoba to begin administering COVID-19 vaccine Wednesday

Coronavirus: Manitoba to begin administering COVID-19 vaccine Wednesday

The province plans to open fixed vaccination sites in Winnipeg, Brandon, Thompson, Steinbach, Gimli, Portage la Prairie and The Pas in the new year, based on vaccine supplies. Mobile vaccination teams are also planned to reach remote locations as more vaccine arrives.

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The province says the vaccine will eventually become more widely available at a larger number of sites, similar to a conventional vaccination campaign, like the annual flu shot.

Read more: Manitoba announces initial plan for COVID-19 vaccine rollout

Manitoba’s chief public health officer, Dr. Brent Roussin says Manitoba is expecting a second delivery of vaccine as early as next week, but exactly how many doses are coming is still not known.

Manitoba has said it plans to vaccinate more than 100,000 people by March, roughly seven per cent of the province’s population.

–With files from The Canadian Press

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