Manitoba to announce back-to-school plan

WINNIPEG — The Manitoba government is set to announce its plan for students to return safely to school.

Education Minister Cliff Cullen and Dr. Brent Roussin, chief provincial public health officer, will be speaking at a news conference at the Manitoba Legislative Building at 2:30 p.m. CTV News Winnipeg will live-stream the event.

On Tuesday, Dr. Joss Reimer, medical lead for the Vaccine Implementation Task Force, said the province is considering a school-based immunization rollout for the COVID-19 vaccine once it is approved for children under the age of 12. However, no plans have been finalized at this point.

“Because we have done school-based vaccines for many years, that is something we are seriously considering for COVID as well,” Reimer said.

As of now, only children between the ages of 12 and 17 can get their shot, with Pfizer being the only vaccine approved for those in this age group.

Roussin said that younger children are at a smaller risk for severe outcomes from COVID-19. He noted that he thinks students will be able to return to the classroom this fall due to Manitoba’s current COVID-19 case numbers and vaccination rates.

CTV News Winnipeg previously reported that eligible students needed to get their first dose of the vaccine by July 27 if they wanted to be fully vaccinated by the start of the school year.

The provincial government said in June it plans to have all Kindergarten to Grade 12 students back in the classroom for in-person learning on Sept. 7.

This is a developing story. More details to come.

– With files from CTV’s Danton Unger.

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