All residents of the Northern Regional Health Authority and Churchill 18 and over are eligible to book appointments for COVID-19 vaccinations as of 11:45 a.m. April 26, Manitoba vaccine task force medical lead Dr. Joss Reimer announced Monday.
Vaccination eligibility is also expanded to include anyone who regularly works in the region, regardless of their job. Residents of the Seven Oaks West neighbourhood in Winnipeg who are 18 and older are now eligible for vaccination as well.
“This recognizes the increased risk faced by many people in the north,” Reimer said at an April 26 technical briefing, which include barriers to health care such as remote geography and the need to travel long distances to access medical care. “We’ve very clearly seen that they have had higher rate of transmission throughout waves two and three. All of those factors combined put them near the top of the list when we thought about the priority communities.”
Northern residents have also seen a higher rate of severe outcomes related to COVID-19, Reimer said.
Staffing at the Thompson vaccination super site and at pop-up sites in Flin Flon and The Pas will need to be ramped up to ensure that they can accommodate increased demand, Reimer said.
“All other communities are already being reached through our northern priority approach," said Reimer. "People who are now eligible should make their appointment as soon as possible."
Vaccine appointments can be booked by calling 1-844-626-8222 or online at protectmb.ca.