Jen Shapka was one of some 13,000 people to make an appointment for the 5 to 11-year-olds before 11 a.m., according to the province. She was looking forward to this day and her nerves kept her from sleeping through the night, she said.
“Thanks, science,” said Shapka, who made an appointment for her 11-year-old daughter as quickly as she could. “The overwhelming logistics business was to deploy this… Manitoba hasn’t always been perfect in everything, but overall it has been very good.
Manitobans aged 5 to 11 are now eligible for the Pfizer-BioNTech vaccine for children. Deliveries of the children’s dose arrive in Manitoba on Tuesday, the province said.
The Manitoba vaccine task force leader is expected to provide more details at 2 p.m. CBC News will broadcast the announcement live here on Facebook and CBC Gem.
Pharmacists and family doctors are expected to start receiving doses between Thursday and next Monday, a provincial official said. The Manitoba Vaccine Finder app will be updated in the coming days to indicate which pharmacies have doses.
Currently, appointments for children can only be booked at vaccination supersites.
Provincial officials had warned that anyone skipping the line and making appointments for the children before Monday would see those appointments canceled.
Kyle Penner has booked three dates for his children at the Steinbach supersite for next Monday.
Associate pastor of Grace Mennonite Church in Steinbach said he understood some parents had reservations.
“We love our children and would do anything for them and so for these parents, we respect and really understand the questions they are asking,” he said. “Our doctors were there when our kids were born and they’re theirs for everything else, and that’s something we can talk to our doctors about as well. “
Dr. Marni Hanna, pediatrician and president of the Manitoba Pediatric Society, said the childhood vaccine contains about a third of the dose of an adult vaccine, but still stimulates a robust immune response.
“It’s going to be a key part of helping things to improve and help us get past that,” she said. Radio Information guest host Faith Fundal.
“It will make many parents and families feel a lot safer when they want to involve their children in activities and send them to school. “
Children and teens account for the largest proportion of new COVID-19 cases in recent weeks, according to provincial data.
The vaccine for these five to 11-year-olds has been researched and is safe and effective, Hanna said, and parents can expect the same kind of mild side effects in their children that adults can experience the first day or two after. the injection, including an arm wound, muscle pain, headache, and fever.
Dr Hanna said the risk of myocarditis, a form of heart inflammation, is higher with COVID-19 infection than in association with vaccination, and the disease is treatable.
There are approximately 125,200 children aged 5 to 11, depending on the province. Every eligible child should be vaccinated, Hanna said.
“A lot of kids just yearn for a return to, you know, normal; it’s hard to know what it is now, ”she said. “It’s important to them and they want to be able to be with their friends. “
Shapka had browsers open on her phone and computer when the online reservation system opened at 6 a.m. Monday and a group text with other mothers doing the same.
She encountered a few issues the first time she logged in, but these were quickly resolved. She had a date about 20 minutes later, set for Thursday.
“We have waited so long and finally have the last member of my family. … It’s happening, ”she said. “Excited, happy to be done with it, finally.” ”
A provincial official said there were minor issues identified shortly after the booking site launched on Monday morning due to “very high volumes” online, but these were resolved within 30 minutes. . Those who called had long waits and were due to receive a callback in about two hours due to high demand for calls, the spokesperson added.
The glitches had Krystal Payne on edge, though she too landed a date after a short wait.
She was awake and ready at 5:30 am Monday. His nine-year-old daughter Emby Payne is the last member of the family not to be vaccinated.
Payne’s father lives with them, so the family have taken extra care as he is more at risk.
Payne is hoping the increased lockdown mode doesn’t need to last much longer now that she has an appointment for Emby on Thursday.
Emby was eagerly awaiting this and being able to help keep her grandfather safe.
“She’s thrilled to be able to protect him and just be able to live his life a little longer. “