Fifteen months since the start of the COVID-19 pandemic in Manitoba, all adults in the province are eligible for the vaccine.
The young group can begin booking their appointments Wednesday at 11:45 a.m. This is 10 days earlier than the projected May 22 18-and-older eligibility date.
Those who are 18-years-old and older could previously book their appointments if they were pregnant or Indigenous.
Last week Dr. Joss Reimer announced Manitobans 12-years-old and older could be eligible for the Pfizer vaccine but is waiting on the National Advisory Committee on Immunization's approval. Currently, they have approved Pfizer for people aged 16 and older.
Close to half of all Manitobans have received their first COVID-19 vaccine. All eligible and willing Manitobans, including those 12 to 15-years-old when approved by the National Advisory Committee, will receive their first dose by June 6 at the earliest and June 9 at the latest.
"There is no operational change that we have seen yet, and it is not like all Manitoba book the moment they become eligible," Johanu Botha, the operational lead of the COVID-19 vaccination task force says in a Wednesday briefing.
Previously there were several groups of eligible people, including in specific geographic regions and careers over 18. As eligibility has dropped, appointments for first doses are done on a first-come-first-serve basis. Second doses will see the prioritization of people with specific health conditions.
Those looking to book can do so online or by calling 1-844-MAN-VACC (1-844-626-8222).
Botha says there was a shift when ages dropped from phone call appointments to online appointments. He says 62 per cent of all appointments are booked online. Most vaccine appointments made came from Winnipeggers due to geographic prioritization.
Eligibility also includes:
- Community Living disABILITY Services clients aged 18 or older
- Participants should contact their community service worker, who will confirm eligibility and help to make appointments
- individuals aged 18 or older who work:
- as front line police officers and firefighters
- in any health care setting, including outpatient settings,
- vaccine warehouse,
- alternative isolation accommodations, and
- congregate living facilities.
- individuals aged 18 and older who provide direct care to individuals in:
- homeless shelters, family violence shelters, emergency placement shelters and second stage housing, and
- congregate group care settings in Community Living disABILITY Services or the child and family services sector.
- Manitoba Families is identifying eligible staff and contacting them directly to schedule appointments).