The province will be opening a series of walk-in options at most supersites starting next week, Johanu Botha, chief of vaccine deployment operations in Manitoba, said in a technical briefing on Wednesday. Doctors’ offices and pharmacies will also receive around 30,000 doses this week and another 30,000 next week.
The province also expanded appointment eligibility for the second dose today. Anyone who had their first shot on or before May 14 can now book their second.
Botha will join Task Force Medical Lead Dr Joss Reimer in a press conference at 12:30 p.m. CT. CBC Manitoba will broadcast the event live here and on Twitter, Facebook and CBC Gem.
A planned delivery of more than 300,000 doses of Moderna will help the province expand walk-in options, which are prioritized for first doses but available to people who also want a second. About 105,000 are expected by the end of this week and another 200,000 by the end of next week.
“We’ve never had so many Moderna in the system,” Botha said.
Moderna’s shipments are in addition to the 83,000 to 89,000 doses of Pfizer-BioNTech vaccine that the province expects to receive each week by the end of July.
Eligible Manitobans who got Pfizer or AstraZeneca as their first shot can take advantage of the walk-in options and get Moderna for their second shot, Botha said.
However, children and youth aged 12 to 17 cannot receive the Moderna vaccine, which has not been approved by Health Canada for this age group; they still only have access to Pfizer, which will generally not be distributed during supersite meetings.
The Leila Avenue supersite in Winnipeg is experimenting this week with walk-in access, in addition to its meeting system. This site provides for around 3,000 visits from Tuesday to Thursday.
The intention is to create easy access to the first doses, but Botha said people who show up for the second doses will generally not be turned down.
The minimum requirement between the first and second dose for Moderna and Pfizer is 28 days, Botha said. Authorities recommend waiting 12 weeks between a first dose of AstraZeneca and a different second dose, but people are also allowed to receive their second injection earlier on the basis of informed consent.
Peak demand for 2nd dose
First-dose appointments have leveled off in recent days – more second doses are being given than first doses since late last week – but there is a significant demand for second doses right now.
“People are reserving aggressively,” Botha said of the second doses.
Starting Sunday, supersites in Brandon, Dauphin and Morden will begin accepting walk-in tours, as will the Leila Avenue supersite in Winnipeg. By Tuesday next week, appointments will be available at the supersites of Selkirk and Gimli, followed by Steinbach on Thursday next week.
Botha said there are currently no plans to offer walk-in access to the RBC Convention Center supersite in downtown Winnipeg, as it already carries a high volume of daily doses by appointment.
“It’s hot enough on all cylinders as it is,” he said.
In addition to the upcoming walk-in options, the goal is to open eligibility for the second dose by the end of next week to all Manitobans aged 12 and over who have had sufficient time since their birth. first dose.
Approximately 3,000 doses will be distributed to 17 community clinics scheduled for the remainder of the month. These will take place in businesses and non-profit and community organizations.
Passage of the 70% threshold
Manitoba is expected to officially exceed its goal of getting a first dose of 70 percent of eligible people in the province today.
As of Wednesday, Manitoba had at least partially immunized 69.7% of the population aged 12 and over. The province aims to have at least 70 percent of eligible people receive a first dose and 25 percent receive a second dose by July 1.
If this goal is met, most businesses and services will be allowed to reopen at 25% of their capacity, according to the provincial reopening plan.
The average number of vaccine doses administered daily over seven days has slowed in recent weeks.