COVID-19 vaccination numbers rise for northern Manitoba, Sask. ahead of "super-site" establishment

More northern Manitoba and Saskatchewan residents are getting vaccinated for COVID-19.

Manitoba released more information about COVID-19 vaccinations Wednesday, unveiling a new provincial vaccination dashboard at manitoba.ca/covid19/vaccine. The dashboard reveals that 22,365 doses of the Pfizer/BioNTech and Moderna vaccines have been given in the province. About 2,600 people in the province have received both their first and second doses of the vaccine, making them fully vaccinated against COVID-19.

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The Manitoba government, tasked with rolling out the shots province-wide, has received 46,290 doses of the two vaccines and plan to immunize more than 32,000 people in the next 28 days.

As of Jan. 20, doses in the province have been mostly restricted to health workers and seniors, but some doses have made available for younger workers. Over 1,500 Manitobans in their 20s and almost 3,000 Manitobans in their 30s have had at least their first dose of the vaccine.

While the vaccines have made it to all five health regions in Manitoba, the Northern Health Region has provided the smallest number of doses. In total, 895 people in the region have received at least one shot - about 1.2 per cent of the region's total population. The Northern Health Region has not confirmed or denied if any workers or eligible personnel in Flin Flon have received a COVID-19 vaccine, but has said a possible vaccine site in Flin Flon has not yet been announced.

"The vaccination rollout is being planned provincially and at this time, we have not been advised of a site in Flin Flon," read a statement to The Reminder by an NHR spokesperson.

A pair of vaccine "super-sites" have been opened in Manitoba, in Winnipeg and Brandon. A planned super-site is scheduled to open in Thompson Feb. 1. The provincial government estimates about 46,000 people in the region will be eventually eligible to get the vaccine in the region, all over age 18. Health officials estimate a maximum capacity of 694 doses a day at the Thompson site once it gets underway - at that rate and using that site, assuming no interruptions in supply or demand, it would take 132 days at maximum capacity to vaccinate all eligible people in the region. If maximum capacity can be reached immediately and maintained, all eligible people in the NHR could receive their vaccines by mid June.

After the super-sites are established, the province will gather up focused immunization teams, clinics at First Nations and other pop-up sites to vaccine people at rural, northern or more remote locations.

Saskatchewan

Saskatchewan's vaccine rates are climbing each day, with the province now reporting 27,233 doses administered, including hundreds in the far north east health zone which includes Creighton, Denare Beach and other nearby communities. A total of 1,717 people have received their first dose in the far north east zone, though nobody has received a second dose yet as of Jan. 20. Those who have received the vaccine include people in Creighton, Denare Beach, Pelican Narrows and possibly other communities, where doses were made available earlier this month to elderly people some eligible health workers.

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