The province is pausing administration of first doses of the AstraZeneca vaccine for most Manitobans in light of supply issues and recent news about the vaccine.
First doses of the vaccine can still be administered at doctors’ offices and pharmacies, but only in cases where individuals might not otherwise be immunized with other vaccines at alternative sites, the province said in a news release.
Manitobans 40 and up are eligible for AstraZeneca, as are those 30 and up with select priority health conditions.
For the most part, future AstraZeneca shots will be earmarked for Manitobans who have already received a first dose of that vaccine. Those people can expect to start booking second dose appointments in June.
Dr. Joss Reimer, medical lead of the task force, said she understands why the public might have questions about the latest update, given how many incremental changes there have been in guidance on AstraZeneca.
“With all this information, I want to make one thing very clear: over the last two months when we have been giving AstraZeneca, it has protected many tens of thousands of Manitobans who would not have otherwise had that protection,” Reimer said during a Wednesday news conference, lauding those who got the shot as soon as they became eligible.
“You did the right thing. You provided yourself and your families with protection as early as you possibly could, so we thank you.”
The decision won’t impact Manitoba’s immunization timelines, the release said. As of Wednesday, the province projects everyone 12 and up will have their first dose shots done by June 6-9.