The Province of Manitoba is releasing more information on how the COVID-19 vaccines will be rolled out.
From Wednesday to Friday, 900 Manitobans will be the first ones to receive a COVID-19 vaccination. The 900 were chosen due to their professions and age. Over the weekend, a phone number meant only for those who are eligible was leaked, making it difficult for those eligible to book the appointment. Now that the over 100,000 calls have been cleared, the province is sharing how those 900 will be receiving their shots.
"While we recognize the hope that all Manitobans feel today, and I feel it too," Premier Brian Pallister says. "I ask all Manitobans for their patience and understanding at this crucial time as we gradually roll out our immunization program."
The University of Manitoba's Bannatyne campus will be where the first group will receive their first of two doses due to the proximity to the Pfizer vaccine storage equipment. The appointment will take 45 minutes, including a 15-minute observation period.
"This is a long-awaited day of hope for Manitobans," Pallister says.
It is unknown who the first person to receive a vaccine will be. Pallister says that the people administering the vaccines will also be among the first to get a COVID vaccine.
The Premier does not know when he will be receiving his vaccine yet. He says he will be getting his "in turn with everybody else, anxious as a senior with asthma should be to get it, but we will be waiting our turn." Pallister is 66 years old.
Pallister is asking people to continue to practice patience as they wait their turn for the vaccine. The province has not yet released the priority lists to follow the first group.
"Remember that the public health officials are having to make, along with the federal government that they are working with closely, that they are going to have to make some very difficult decisions about who is the most vulnerable and who should get the vaccine first."
When the 975 doses arrive, they cannot be moved from the campus. The province plans to create mobile units in the future.
More vaccines are arriving next week.
In the new year, vaccines will be stored at a 'super site.' This site storing 60 ultra-low temperature freezers will be at the RBC Convention Centre. They will be able to store 1.8 million COVID-19 vaccine doses.
On top of the vaccines already promised, more will be delivered to first nations communities. These communities have a higher number of vulnerable people in their population and are far from hospital facilities.