WINNIPEG - The government of Manitoba is gradually widening eligibility for who can get vaccinated against COVID-19. Just a day after announcing that seniors over 95 and First Nations people over 75 can get the shot, the province now says First Nation people born on or before Dec. 31, 1946, and others anyone born on or before Dec. 31, 1926, are allowed to call and make an appointment for immunization.
Dental office staff and workers at elderly day programs who have direct patient contact are also newly eligible. The government has expanded the age limit for staff of congregate living facilities, like addictions and supportive housing centres, as well. New criteria include those born on or before the end of 1960 qualify, instead of 1955.
Dr. Joss Reimer of the Manitoba Vaccine Task Force says she's very excited about vaccinations expanding into the general public, and says the age of eligibility will only keep dropping in the days ahead.
The toll-free number to call to book an appointment if you qualify is 1-844-626-8222 (1-844-MAN-VACC). A caregiver may make the call on behalf of, and accompany, the person who's getting vaccinated.
Also qualifying are people who work:
- in labs that handle COVID-19 specimens;
- at COVID-19 immunization clinics, testing sites, and isolation facilities; work in licensed personal care homes, whether they have direct contact with patients or residents or not; Those who have direct contact with patients are also eligible if they:
- work in acute care facilities;
- are registered EMS or patient transportation workers;
- work in long-term care facilities;
- are home care workers;
- work in correctional facilities; or
- work in primary care clinics; outpatient imaging facilities, labs, or surgical units; or specialty doctors’ clinics
Community service workers also qualify now, including those who provide direct care to people at places like homeless, family violence, and emergency placement shelters.