Manitoba's COVID-19 vaccination effort hit a big milestone Friday, with the province's number of eligible people with both vaccine doses hitting 75 per cent.
The province hit the mark August 20 after a months-long vaccination campaign, with almost 1.9 million doses of vaccines given out province-wide. Just under one million of those doses are first doses, with around 895,000 second doses having been given throughout Manitoba.
About 81.2 per cent of all eligible people - as of August 20, that includes all Manitobans age 12 and over, as well as 11-year-olds who will turn 12 by the end of 2021 - have had at least one vaccine dose. That number pushes Manitoba over the line for the province's final remaining threshold between today and lifting all provincial public health orders.
According to the Manitoba government's reopening plan, the province required having 80 per cent of Manitobans with one dose and 75 per cent of people with two by Labour Day - Sept. 6 - to move ahead as planned, two and a half weeks ahead of the original goal date.
No announcements have been made regarding changes to Manitoba's few remaining health orders, which now mostly regard size limits on indoor and outdoor gatherings and events, as well as access limits for unvaccinated people to certain events and areas. Possible changes could be announced early next week, but no press conferences or events have been scheduled by the province.
The Northern Health Region (NHR) has the second highest vaccine uptake rate of Manitoba's five health regions, with their 78.1 per cent behind only Winnipeg's 84 per cent rate - though due to northern Manitoba's low population, the region still has the lowest number of doses administered of all five regions. A total of 91,808 doses have been given in the NHR as of August 20.
Vaccine uptake is highest amongst Manitoba's elderly - more than 96 per cent of people in their 70s and over age 80 have had at least one dose, while people in their 60s have over a 91 per cent vaccine uptake rate. Uptake declines for younger age groups, with vaccine rates for people in their 20s, 30s and 40s sitting in the mid-to-high 70s.
The lowest age group for doses is age 10-19, the youngest age group eligible for shots, where about 55.6 per cent of eligible youth have at least one dose. Youths have had less time to receive vaccinations than other age groups and are only authorized to receive Pfizer vaccines - Moderna shots have not yet been approved for use in people under age 18 by Health Canada, though approval could come as soon as next month.