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  • Winnipeg Tribune

Manitoba Health announces children aged 5 to 11 can have COVID shot


Wednesday, August 24, 2022 - Manitoba Health is advising that all children aged five to 11 can now receive a booster dose of the Pfizer COVID-19 vaccine. A booster dose is particularly important for children with an underlying medical condition that places them at high risk of severe illness due to COVID-19. For most children in this age group, this will be their third dose of vaccine.


Following the recommendations of the National Advisory Committee on Immunization, there should be a minimum six-month interval between the child’s last dose and the booster dose. In addition, it is recommended that children who are eligible to get a booster dose but were recently infected with COVID-19 should wait three months afterward to get a booster dose. Children who have not completed their primary series should wait two months after the infection to get their next dose. At a minimum, they should be outside of the recommended isolation period and be symptom-free.


Appointments are currently available at regional vaccine sites, public health offices, pharmacies, and medical clinics. Parents and caregivers of eligible children may book appointments directly with medical clinics or their local pharmacies 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. The online vaccine finder can help you find a location nearest you. For more information, visit www.gov.mb.ca/covid19/vaccine/finder.html.


Provincial public health officials also advise that while a decrease in the uptake of routine childhood immunizations was noted in March 2020, preliminary data on routine immunization from 2020 is comparable to data from 2017. Public health officials continue to plan and implement strategies to increase childhood immunization coverage. Immunizations are recommended throughout a person’s life and it is important to be up to date on all routine vaccines. Individuals should speak with their regular health provider to ensure they and their family members are up to date on their routine immunizations.


Children aged five to 11 years old may receive other vaccines before, on the same day, or after receiving the COVID-19 vaccine. For more information including the recommended schedule for routine immunizations, visit www.gov.mb.ca/health/publichealth/cdc/div/schedules.html.


The province continues to plan for a fall COVID-19 immunization campaign. Manitobans will continue to be able to access the COVID-19 vaccine at physician’s offices and pharmacies. In addition, planning continues in order to provide additional doses as needed in long-term care facilities across the province.


To ensure ongoing accessibility for the COVID-19 vaccine, the province will reopen the regional vaccine clinic at 1680 Notre Dame Ave. in Winnipeg, with the first appointments available in mid-September. The vaccine clinic at RBC Convention Centre will close in mid-September. The capacity of each facility is similar, as they can provide 1,700 immunizations per day if needed. On behalf of all Manitobans, the province would like to thank RBC Convention Centre for the pivotal role it has played in the COVID-19 immunization campaign.


Manitoba Health is also seeking feedback from Manitobans on a new vaccine that may be approved by Health Canada in the coming weeks.


All COVID-19 vaccines currently available were developed to be effective against the original strain of the virus. A new vaccine currently under review by Health Canada, called a bivalent vaccine, has been developed to provide protection against the original strain as well as an Omicron variant.


The EngageMB survey focuses on Manitobans’ willingness to receive this new bivalent COVID-19 booster vaccine, what factors might influence their decision, and their preferred locations to be immunized. There are also questions specifically for parents of children aged 12 to 17, as the vaccine may be approved for people in this age group.


To participate in this EngageMB survey, visit https://engagemb.ca. The survey will be open until Friday, Sept. 9.


Additional Resources


COVID-19 in Manitoba: www.manitoba.ca/COVID19.

Vaccine campaign: www.manitoba.ca/vaccine.

Testing information: www.manitoba.ca/covid19/testing/index.html.

Outbreaks: www.gov.mb.ca/covid19/prs/index.html.

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