As of Friday, Aug. 5, Manitoba Health is expanding COVID-19 vaccine eligibility to include all children aged six months to four years.
To date, Manitoba has received 14,900 doses of the Moderna vaccine for this age group from the federal government. The province has shipped more than 3,700 doses to regional vaccine sites and medical clinics. Another 2,100 doses have been provided to First Nations medical leadership for distribution to their communities. Most immunization data is not reported in real-time, so limited information is available about the number of doses administered to date. Additional updates will be provided on vaccine uptake among this age group when more information is available.
A second and final shipment of 28,800 Moderna doses was delayed but is expected to arrive soon. However, the vaccine supply remains limited at this time. Because the vaccine is a two-dose series, the province will reserve about half of its doses to ensure adequate supplies, to provide the best protection against COVID-19 for children in this age group.
Health Canada is also reviewing a Pfizer vaccine for children in this age group. If approved, additional vaccines would be available in the fall.
Children must be at least six months old at the time of their appointment. The National Advisory Committee on Immunization (NACI) recommends children aged six months to four years receive a COVID-19 vaccine at least two weeks before or after any other vaccines to better monitor for any side effects. Manitoba’s approach is consistent with NACI, but children who have received a different vaccine within 14 days will not be turned away.
Appointments are currently available at regional vaccine sites, public health offices and medical clinics. Parents and caregivers of eligible children may book appointments directly with medical clinics, with the online vaccine finder, or through the vaccine call centre at (toll-free) 1-844-626-8222 (1-844-MAN-VACC). The phone line is recommended for parents and caregivers who may need to make more than one appointment at the same time. Parents of children who are newly eligible for this vaccine should only book appointments beginning on Friday, Aug. 5, at 9 a.m.
For more information, including the online vaccine finder, visit https://protectmb.ca/.