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.
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.
As more shipments come in, priority will be given to other health-care workers, seniors and Indigenous people, the province has said.
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.
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.
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.
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.
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.
–With files from The Canadian Press
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