On Friday, Johanu Botha, head of operations, planning and logistics for the Vaccine Working Group, said a combination of factors, including Moderna’s reduction in supply and the number of reservations for first dose appointment, extended schedule.
It will take until June 30 at the latest to reach 70% vaccine coverage for the population aged 12 and older, Botha said.
As recently as last week, the province said it expected to hit that mark by June 9, assuming 70 percent of Manitobans wanted an injection and there would be an adequate supply.
“Early-feeder adoption appears to be leveling off,” Botha said on Friday.
The task force expected the federal government to provide an additional 75,000 doses of the Moderna vaccine by June 4, Botha said. However, a confirmed delivery schedule from Moderna of Ottawa indicated that 14,600 doses will arrive next week and 3,500 the following week, a decrease of almost 57,000 doses from what was expected, he said. he declares.
“Even with the first doses reserving at a slower rate, this supply is not enough to get all the first doses to pass the 70% mark by June 9,” he said.
“Adoption among the first doses seems to be leveling off. “
– John Botha
To immunize 70 percent of Manitobans 12 and older, the task force must administer a total of 825,912 first doses.
Data showed that at least 706,695 Manitobans – 59.3% of the population aged 12 and older – had received a single dose on Friday.
Botha said about 104,300 appointments for the first dose were in the booking system between Thursday and June 9.
The province is expected to record about 10,000 first doses per day to reach 70% coverage by June 9. Botha said that would not happen depending on the doses available over the next 12 days, as most of the supply is reserved for second injections.
“The first and second dose campaigns are important. It’s neither one nor the other, ”he said.
“We plan to make more and more people eligible for their second dose, which means the rate of deployment as measured by the total doses administered will continue, as long as we have the supply. ”
Therefore, it will take another 21 days to reach the 70% threshold, he said, although it is possible to reach that target sooner.
“The first and second dose campaigns are both important. It’s neither. “
– John Botha
Epidemiologist Cynthia Carr said if demand for first doses wanes, it makes sense to build on the momentum that exists and offer second doses.
Manitoba cannot afford to wait to improve immunization rates among groups where first dose absorption is slow, she said.
“The slower people are to get vaccinated, the more risk there is. So the faster we reach 70%, it will make a significant difference in reducing cases and hospitalizations, ”she said, noting that the longer the highly contagious variant strains have to circulate, the lower the coverage threshold. vaccine is high.
“Speed matters. ”
Carr said it was important to have people under the age of 50 vaccinated in the southern part of the province.
“It’s not just that 70 to 75 percent threshold; it is these age groups that are quite low and yet the most mobile, because that will create the greatest risk, ”she said.
Last week Prime Minister Brian Pallister said his government would announce incentives to encourage more people to roll up their sleeves. A spokesperson said details are expected next week.
Manitoba NDP health spokesperson Uzoma Asagwara said while the incentives may be helpful, the task force has yet to come up with a zero-barrier vaccination plan in communities severely affected by the disease. COVID-19.
“This is going to interfere with our ability to meet all of the goals set in any timeframe,” said Asagwara, who represents Union Station.
“Part of the importance for them to come up with a strategic plan that provides vaccines to communities hardest hit by COVID, is also to tackle the burden on our health system which is not sustainable. ”
Asagwara has experience volunteering at pop-up clinics in the downtown constituency and said community members want the vaccine but need access close to their homes.
“They just need safe, accessible and familiar places and spaces that understand them,” Asagwara said.
Botha said the timeline for completing the second dose campaign by the end of July had not changed.