The Manitoba government is gearing up to open two new COVID-19 vaccination “supersites” by the first week of March.
One new site will be in Selkirk and the other will be in the Winkler/Morden area, officials said during a technical briefing with media Wednesday.
Sites are already operating in Winnipeg, Brandon and Thompson, and, when they open, the new locations will mean all of the province’s five health regions will have a supersite. Officials say the sites act as both a distribution hub and a vaccination clinic for those on the priority list for shots.
More information on exactly where the new sites will be located is expected in the next week or two, the province says.
Meanwhile, a shortage of vaccine supply has forced both the sites in Winnipeg and Brandon to close and rebook appointments this week.
The province says it is currently averaging around 1,000 doses a day, but officials said Wednesday they have the ability to do 10 times that if supplies were on hand.
Manitoba has previously said it plans to be able to administer up to 20,000 doses a day by April 1.
Under the plan, doctors’ offices and pharmacists will be brought online to help distribute vaccines once supplies ramp up in the spring.
The province ultimately plans to open 13 super sites across the province, which are expected to be up and running over the next six weeks.
Vaccinations for those 95 and over coming
The head of Manitoba’s vaccination implementation task force says the province will soon be able to begin giving shots to the general public.
Dr. Joss Reimer told media Wednesday she would making an announcement next week about opening up vaccination appointments to those 95 and older.
The province also released details of its next stage of vaccination for high-priority groups Wednesday.
Under the plan seniors living in congregate settings including assisted living facilities, supportive housing, and those currently in hospital but waiting to move into long-term care will begin to be vaccinated in Winnipeg and Brandon starting Friday.
A list of the sites planned for vaccinations has been made available on the province’s website.
The Winnipeg facilities scheduled for vaccinations are:
- Feb. 19 – Lions Supportive Housing
- Feb. 22 – Residence Despins Supportive Housing
- Feb. 23 – Victoria General Hospital
- Feb. 24 – Arlington Haus
- Feb. 25 – Grace General Hospital and Assiniboine Links
- Feb. 26 – Dakota House Homestead, Devonshire House I Homestead and Devonshire House II Homestead
The sites in Brandon scheduled for vaccinations are:
- Feb. 19 – Brandon Regional Health Centre
- Feb. 22 – Victoria Landing Retirement, Sokol Supportive Housing, Sokol Manor, Rotary
Villas at Crocus Gardens, Riverheights Terrace
- Feb. 23 – Hobbs Manor, Village Green, Winnipeg House and Kin Village
- Feb. 25 – McDiarmid Place, Parkview Seniors Co-op, Western Manitoba Seniors Non-Profit Housing, Grand Valley Place, Lawson Lodge, Princess Park and Princess Tower
- Feb. 26 – Lions Manor, Odd Fellows Corner, The Towers and Kiwanis Courts
Reimer said the effort to vaccinate at congregate living facilities will see some 1,400 sites visited with nearly 23,000 Manitobans eligible for shots.
Meanwhile the province is making vaccination appointments available at super sites to employees working at the eligible congregate living facilities based on age.
Reimer said those efforts will begin with eligible employees born on or before Dec. 31, 1955.
–With files from Brittany Greenslade
Questions about COVID-19? Here are some things you need to know:
Symptoms can include fever, cough and difficulty breathing — very similar to a cold or flu. Some people can develop a more severe illness. People most at risk of this include older adults and people with severe chronic medical conditions like heart, lung or kidney disease. If you develop symptoms, contact public health authorities.
To prevent the virus from spreading, experts recommend frequent handwashing and coughing into your sleeve. They also recommend minimizing contact with others, staying home as much as possible and maintaining a distance of two metres from other people if you go out. In situations where you can’t keep a safe distance from others, public health officials recommend the use of a non-medical face mask or covering to prevent spreading the respiratory droplets that can carry the virus. In some provinces and municipalities across the country, masks or face coverings are now mandatory in indoor public spaces.
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