Manitoba recommending third dose of COVID 19 vaccine for immunocompromised people

The province will now be offering third doses of the COVID-19 vaccine to immunocompromised Manitobans, Dr. Joss Reimer, medical lead of the vaccine task force, announced Wednesday.

If you are unsure if you fall under the category of immunocompromised, Reimer provided a complete list of the medical conditions or treatments that could result in a third dose recommendation. It includes:

  • are receiving active chemotherapy (or immunotherapy) for cancer
  • have received a solid organ transplant and are currently receiving chemotherapy or other immunosuppressive therapy
  • were born with moderate or severe dysfunction of their immune system
  • are living with untreated or advanced HIV-AIDS
  • are taking certain medications that severely affect the immune system

“We know that people who are immunocompromised may not be able to develop a good defence against COVID-19 with just two doses of the vaccine,” Reimer said.

She noted the province’s decision to recommend third doses for moderately to severely immunocompromised people was developed in consultation with the Vaccine Implementation Task Force’s medical advisory committee, which includes health-care professionals from a wide range of specialties.

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The National Advisory Committee on Immunization recommended last week that people who are immunocompromised should be immunized a third time.

“This initial plan for the third dose recognizes those who are at increased risk of severe illness. It also responds to the individual challenges faced by people travelling outside of Canada.”

Third doses will also be available in Manitoba for travel purposes and for individuals who have received one or two doses of a vaccine that is not approved by Health Canada.

Reimer added that Individuals who would like to receive a third dose for travel purposes must be vaccinated by their health-care provider and go through an informed consent process, or present a prescription to a pharmacist.

Medical Exemptions

The leader of the task force also announced the province’s process for medical exemptions to immunizations.

Based on the guidance of the task force’s medical advisory committee, people in one of three situations may be eligible for a temporary or permanent medical exemption to vaccination.

This must be reviewed by a specialist physician and then submitted to the task force. It includes people who:

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  • had a severe reaction after the first dose of a COVID-19 vaccine (e.g. myocarditis, Guillain-Barré syndrome)
  • are receiving treatment that affects their ability to mount an immune response, meaning vaccination must be timed carefully with their treatment schedule (e.g. receiving immunocompromising treatment after a transplant, certain types of cancer treatments)
  • had a severe allergy or anaphylactic reaction to a previous dose of a COVID-19 vaccine or its components that cannot be managed by the Health Sciences Centre Allergy Clinic.

“The process to submit medical exemptions will be finalized as soon as possible, along with updated clinical guidance for health-care professionals,” the release reads.

The province says it is also developing a way to ensure individuals who are medically exempt are able to access the same benefits as those with a fully vaccinated card, this work is expected to be completed in the coming weeks.

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School-based Immunizations

Starting next week young, eligible Manitobans will be able to get their COVID-19 vaccination straight from the convenience of their schools, the province announced in a release.

“These clinics will be offered during school hours and in some cases, clinics will continue to operate outside school hours as a pop-up clinic for all members of the community.” the release reads.

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The province says If you are a parent or guardian and you would like to get immunized with your child or would just like to accompany your child to their vaccine appointment you can do so during the pop-up clinic outside of school hours.

These School clinics are expected to run for four to six weeks.

Mobile and Pop-up Clinics

Outside of school immunizations, there are also two mobile and pop-up clinics that will be held this week in Winnipeg if you wish to get a shot.

A mobile clinic will be open on Sept. 18 from 12:30 p.m. until 4:30 p.m. at Provencher Park, 271 de la Cathedrale Ave. and a pop-up clinic is taking place at Yellowhead Centre Hall, 175 Mountain Ave., Neepawa, on Sept. 16 from 4:00 p.m. to 8:00 p.m.

Vaccine Administration, Supply and Distribution

A total of 1,948,557 doses of vaccine have been administered in the province.

To date, 2,435,830 doses have been delivered to the province, this includes:

  • 1,534,950 doses of the Pfizer vaccine;
  • 808,920 doses of the Moderna vaccine; and
  • 91,960 doses of the AstraZeneca vaccine.

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COVID-19 cases by vaccination status

According to the daily updated provincial COVID-19 dashboard, there are 49 new cases in the province, below is the vaccination breakdown:

  • 31, not vaccinated = 63 per cent
  • 9, one dose = 18 per cent
  • 9, both doses = 18 per cent

There are 29 active hospitalizations:

  • 22, not vaccinated = 76 per cent
  • 3, one dose = 3 per cent
  • 4, both doses = 4 per cent

There are currently 7 ICU patients:

  • 6, not vaccinated = 86 per cent
  • 1, one dose = 14 per cent
  • 0, both doses = 0 per cent

There are a total of 584 active cases:

  • 332, not vaccinated = 57 per cent
  • 76, one dose = 13 per cent
  • 176, both doses = 30 per cent

The total number of cases in the province is 59,466, and the number for hospitalizations is 69 with 15 ICU patients. There have been 1,203 deaths.

The total amount of tests administered is 956,596 with 2,364 done daily and the current five-day test positivity rate is 2.9 per cent.

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With files from the Canadian Press

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