More than half of all the adults in Manitoba have been given their first COVID-19 vaccine.
On Saturday, the province announced more than half of all adults have received their first COVID-19 dose.
“Many of you had to wait patiently until it was your turn, and now you’re in great company with hundreds of thousands of your loved ones, neighbours and community leaders who have also chosen to be immunized. We’re making incredible progress, but we need to keep protecting ourselves and protecting each other by getting the vaccine," Dr. Joss Reimer said in a statement at that time.
The province has seen 34 people who have gotten their first dose contract the virus during the first three weeks following getting the shot. Chief Nursing Officer Lanette Siragusa is asking Manitobans during a Monday press conference to be cautious in the first three weeks after getting the vaccine.
"The protection from that shot doesn't really take place for two to three weeks after the vaccine, so we are always going to have that lag between vaccine uptake and vaccine protection," Chief Public Health Officer Dr. Brent Roussin says about the high case numbers and high vaccination rates.
Roussin says the biggest impact the vaccines have had is on personal care homes.
"We are seeing some very good uptake but we are going to need to continue that. We are going to need to continue to be cautious regarding the public health restrictions while Manitobans are getting the benefit of the vaccine."
He says the lag as people wait for their vaccine will leave Manitobans unprotected, emphasizing the need to be cautious and keep transmission chains down.
Roussin says vaccination rates need to be in the high 70s to get the community benefits of the vaccines, which he says puts the province "in a good spot to start loosening these restrictions."
If cases continue to rise, Roussin says more restrictions could be put in place.
The race to vaccinate quickens as Manitobans aged 12-17 were added to the eligibility list Friday. The province says on that same day, 41,754 appointments were booked, almost doubling the previous 26,000 record the day before.
An issue parents are now facing regarding their child's appointment is they are being cancelled. This is because some parents were booking the appointments under their own name, not their child's.
"Parents who used their own names to book their child’s appointment and received a cancellation email are encouraged to call or go online to book again," the province says in a statement.
As of Monday, 657,634 doses of vaccine, including some second doses, have been administered. The province says 767,670 doses have arrived in Manitoba.
Second doses for eligible populations open on May 22.
"Medical clinics and pharmacies will contact people who received their AstraZeneca/Covishield vaccine at these locations to book second doses, which are likely to begin in June."
Those looking to book appointments can do so online or by calling 1-844-626-8222 (1-844-MAN-VACC).