WINNIPEG - Thousands of Manitoba parents are booking immunization appointments following the launch of Shared Health’s registration system as the first shipments of pediatric doses make their way toward clinics and pharmacies across the province.
Five hours after the online appointment booking site and call centre opened Monday morning, the province says nearly 13,000 appointments for children ages five to 11 had been booked. Just two hours after that, the number had grown by more than 2,000. By 5 p.m., more than 18,000 appointments for pediatric COVID-19 vaccinations had been made. There are around 125,000 children aged five to 11 in Manitoba.
The province says, to leave room for the thousands of children coming to get immunized, the RBC Convention Centre supersite will no longer be accepting walk-ins starting Thursday. Adults will still be able to make appointments to get vaccinated at the site in downtown Winnipeg.
Child-sized doses of the vaccine, which are a third the size of those given to youth and adults, are expected to arrive at participating medical clinics and pharmacies in Manitoba between November 25 and 29 following Health Canada’s approval on Friday of Pfizer-BioNTech’s Comirnaty vaccine for use in children. Provincial health officials say the vaccine will be offered at pharmacies, provincial and regional vaccine clinics, doctors’ offices, urban Indigenous clinics, pop-up sites, and schools.
The Canadian government says it had enough pediatric doses of the vaccine — 2.9 million — to immunize every child in that age group in Canada. Health Canada says the vaccine proved 90.7 per cent effective in children aged five to 11-years-old at preventing COVID-19, and no serious side effects were identified.
Parents can book children’s COVID-19 vaccination appointments online or by calling 1-844-626-8222.