Manitoba to start delaying second dose of COVID-19 vaccine

WINNIPEG — Changes are coming to Manitoba’s vaccine rollout.

Dr. Joss Reimer, the medical lead for the Vaccine Implementation Task Force, said Manitoba will be delaying the administration of the second dose of the COVID-19 vaccine.

Reimer said this will apply for all vaccines and added studies have shown that it is okay to delay the second dose.

“The reason for this decision at this time is based on what we’re seeing in real-world conditions, about the effectiveness of the vaccines that are currently authorized for use in Canada and around the world,” said Reimer.

“Clinical and real world studies have shown all of these vaccines to be effective in preventing COVID-19, and the people who have been immunized are much less likely to not only become infected, but also have severe symptoms, if they do become infected.”

Reimer added this will change the province’s vaccine plan and said the province will be following the advice from the National Advisory Committee on Immunization. She said that could be a delay of up to four months.

“The whole goal of this is to speed up the ability to reach all Manitobans with the first dose. So we do anticipate that all Manitobans will be reached much quicker than the original plan of ensuring that the second dose occurred at the three or four-week window.”

All current second dose appointments will be honoured.

This is a developing story. More details to come.

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