Manitoba Opens First COVID-19 Immunization Clinic

COVID-19 manitoba business building
manitoba business building

The Manitoba government launched its first COVID-19 immunization clinic this morning to deliver the life-saving vaccine to the first priority group of health-care providers, Premier Brian Pallister announced today.

“Today is a monumental day in Manitoba and a long-awaited day of hope as we begin to deliver the first doses of the COVID-19 vaccine nine months after our first positive case in the province,” said Pallister. “Our front-line health-care workers have been stepping up throughout this pandemic and we know that stepping up now to protect them first is the right thing to do, so that we can protect them and the patients they look after. I want to express my sincere gratitude to all those involved in our immunization campaign, as well as our health-care system and the immunization task force for its hard work to prepare for this historic challenge.”

This morning, the clinic opened its doors at the University of Manitoba’s Rady Faculty of Health Sciences on Bannatyne campus adjacent to the Health Sciences Centre (HSC) Winnipeg. The first Manitoban to be immunized was Dr. Brian Penner, who works in internal medicine at HSC.

“I am now safer for my friends and colleagues, and I hope everyone does their part to stop the spread,” said Penner.

“I’m old, I work in a hospital, I work in a clinic and I do a lot of house calls on people in assisted living sites,” said Dr. Brian Sharkey, a family physician who also works in urgent care at Victoria General Hospital. “I’ve been worried about the vulnerability of those sites and the possibility of bringing the virus to someone who is unprotected.”

“It’s important for me because I’m a front-line worker, I work in the emergency room,” said Sherry Plett, a registered nurse from the Southern Health–Santé Sud health region. “I just feel like I need to be there, I need to be healthy so I can be there and look after people in the community.”

Over the next three days, the province expects to immunize 900 health-care workers who fall into the first priority group and booked appointments in advance.

Individuals eligible to be vaccinated at this time include health-care workers who have direct contact with patients and also meet one of these criteria:
• work in critical care units, born on or before Dec. 31, 1970;
• work in acute care facilities, born on or before Dec. 31, 1960;
• work in long term care facilities, born on or before Dec. 31, 1960; or
• be assigned to COVID-19 immunization clinics.

Additional doses of vaccine are expected to be delivered to this province later this month and more appointments to be immunized will become available at that time. As details about the type and amount of vaccine are confirmed, the province will provide further updates to Manitobans.

This will include the opening of the province’s first ‘super-site’ at RBC Convention Centre, followed by other locations in Winnipeg, Brandon, Thompson, Steinbach, Gimli, Portage la Prairie and The Pas beginning in the new year. Mobile clinics and other targeted outreach is being planned as a supply of more easily stored and transported vaccines becomes available.

A number of employment opportunities are available for Manitobans who want to be a part of the COVID-19 vaccine rollout. For a current list of job postings, visit:
www.gov.mb.ca/covid19/vaccine/jobs.html.

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