Winnipeg teachers breathe sigh of relief with new 40-and-up vaccine eligibility

When the principal of Maples Collegiate heard the news Monday that Manitobans 40 and over were eligible for the AstraZeneca COVID-19 vaccine, he didn’t waste any time getting on the P.A. system and letting his colleagues know.

Scott Shier told 680 CJOB he couldn’t wait for the school’s teachers to hear the good news.

“We sent out a link to a phone number of a pharmacy that was close by that I knew was taking appointments already,” Shier said.

“One of our staff sent out the link to the online booking as well. Our admin team wanted to make sure (the teachers) had an opportunity to stop and pause and get themselves an appointment.”

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For arts teacher Stacey Abramson, it was the moment she’d been waiting for.

“My students heard the announcement and they all turned and looked me,” Abramson said.

“I’m very open about the fact that I live with multiple sclerosis and have for the past two years, so they’ve been rooting for me to get a vaccine along with all of the other teachers.

“The minute it happened, they cheered, and it was a pretty beautiful thing. You could feel the shift in the school.”

Abramson said she wasn’t sure how quick the rollout was going to happen, and said the fact that she was able to get an appointment for the next day was surreal.

“We have these hopes now of what the future could look like and what coming into work is going to look like. It’s a really great place to be.”

Until Monday, the AstraZeneca vaccine in Manitoba had been available to those 65 and over, and to people between 55 and 64 with certain underlying medical conditions.

Eligible Manitobans can find their nearest clinic or pharmacy with available doses by visiting the province’s website.

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Manitobans 40 and over can now access AstraZeneca COVID-19 vaccine

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