WINNIPEG - If you think your social media feeds have been flooded with posts showing people getting vaccinated against COVID-19 who just a moment ago were too young to get the shot, you’d be right - and that’s thanks to pharmacies, many now experiencing a deluge of phone calls, emails, and website visits, recently getting approved to administer a single type of vaccine to people 14 years younger than the age approved at sites elsewhere.
AZ shots are going to sell out in Manitoba today like it's a wrist band for Edgefest.— Jay Kilgour (@JMKilgour) April 19, 2021
The province expanded eligibility for getting the Oxford-AstraZeneca jab to Manitobans aged 40 and up this week, which can be administered by a doctor or pharmacist, effective immediately. No pre-existing health conditions are needed for someone to qualify.
[MB] Effective Now Manitobans 40+ now eligible to receive the AstraZeneca/Covishield vaccine at a clinic/pharmacy. Find the nearest place w available doses here:https://t.co/yr3cz5ijBNhttps://t.co/oYizGbYe9a #COVID19 #COVID19Vaccine #COVID19MB #vhcMB pic.twitter.com/Ecz98tyuuS— Vaccine Hunters Canada (@VaxHuntersCan) April 20, 2021
But that means pharmacy staff members aren’t just busy putting vaccines into arms - they’re busy answering phone calls and replying to email messages from Manitobans eager to get vaccinated. Pharmacists Manitoba says they’re working with the province to ensure supply can keep up with demand, noting that phones at pharmacies are ringing again right after someone ends the previous call. The website for one pharmacy reportedly crashed because of high traffic.
Eligible Manitobans can find a nearby pharmacy or clinic that has doses available here.
You can also keep track of eligibility and availability updates by following the non-government volunteer-run group Vaccine Hunters Canada.