More Manitobans are now eligible to receive a third dose of COVID-19 vaccine.
The province announced Feb. 7 that third doses would be available to some youths ages 12-17 years old, in accordance to new guidance from the National Advisory on Immunization (NACI).
Third dose guidance covers youths who are or may be at high risk of severe outcomes from COVID-19, “due to medical and/or social risk factors” according to the province. That group includes 12-to-17-year-olds who have underlying medical issues, who live in shelters, group homes or correctional centres or youths in what the province calls “racialized or marginalized communities that are disproportionately affected by COVID-19”. The province will also allow for another dose for 12-to-17-year-olds who are immunocompromised and have already received a third dose, marking the first time provincial health officials have given approval for what is, in essence, a fourth dose.
“Neither the province nor NACI is recommending boosters for the general population of youth ages 12 to 17. Only those who meet the criteria outlined above are eligible,” reads the Manitoba announcement.
The groups mentioned will be able to receive a booster shot at least six months after their second shot of vaccine - all doses will be of the Pfizer vaccine, which is approved for use in these circumstances.
Hospitalizations and intensive care admissions in Manitoba due to COVID-19 have decreased in the past week, going from 735 people on Jan. 31 to 697 on Feb. 8 and from 56 people on Jan. 31 to 40 on Feb. 8. A total of 63 people from the Northern Health Region (NHR) are in hospital due to COVID-19 as of Feb. 8 - six of those people are in intensive care.
As of Feb. 7, a total of 38 people have died from COVID-19 in the past week throughout Manitoba, including four people from the Northern Health Region (NHR) - two in the Shamattawa health district and two in Thompson/Mystery Lake. The dead include a man in his 20s from the Shamattawa district, whose death was announced Monday.