Manitoba to expand its COVID-19 vaccine effort with large Moderna supply

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WINNIPEG — The Manitoba government says it is set to achieve its long-stated goal of administering 20,000 COVID-19 vaccine doses per day.

Johanu Botha, co-lead of the province's vaccination team, says about 300,000 doses of Moderna vaccine are due to arrive by the end of the month, starting at the end of this week.

Along with a steady supply of the Pfizer-BioNTech vaccine, Manitoba is aiming to administer 175,000 doses next week — 70,000 more than this week.

Premier Brian Pallister has frequently said the province has the capacity to deliver 20,000 doses daily if supplies were strong enough.

Botha says the province could very well exceed that, due to record-high supplies, increased walk-in vaccinations and an expanded use of pharmacies and medical clinics.

Botha also said the province is aiming to have all Manitobans aged 12 and up eligible for a second dose by the end of next week.

Currently, Indigenous persons and people with certain underlying medical conditions can book second doses. For others, only people who received a first dose on or before May 14 are eligible.

"It's certainly not a hard, confirmed line in the sand. Our approach has always been to monitor ... but yeah, we're targeting end of next week," Botha said Wednesday.

The announcement came as health officials reported 144 new COVID-19 cases and seven deaths. It was the fourth consecutive day that new case counts were under 200.

The five-day percentage of people testing positive continued to drop, and sat at 9.7 per cent provincially and 9.2 per cent in Winnipeg.

This report by The Canadian Press was first published June 16, 2021.

The Canadian Press

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