WINNIPEG - Manitoba’s Chief Public Health Officer says the province is preparing for a possible increase in cases of other illnesses when students - and flu season - return in the fall. This is despite public health officials currently reporting some of their lowest daily new COVID-19 cases since last September.
Dr. Brent Roussin says while the province doesn’t have plans to have mandatory vaccinations for schools, the risk will be especially high for Manitobans who aren’t vaccinated. The top doctor says while current numbers are hopeful, Manitoba will continue to see the spread of COVID-19, RSV, and influenza - but medical professionals aren’t coming across many severe outcomes among those who have been vaccinated.
Today is the last day on which unvaccinated students 12 and older can get their first dose in order to have full protection against the virus by the first day of school on September 7. The province has a searchable map of where to find an immunization site on its ProtectMB portal.
"We know the return to school is so important, and always has been through this pandemic,” Roussin says. “We've always had the stance that schools are the last to close, first to open whenever we had restrictions, and our goal is to get the kids back to school as normal as possible this fall."
Right now, 78.7 per cent of Manitobans have received one dose of a COVID-19 vaccine, and 66.5 per cent have gotten a second.