Manitoba

Province adds 72 early-bird bookings for kids to get COVID-19 shot after doses arrive in Manitoba

Manitoba is rolling out vaccine appointments for children aged 5 to 11 a day earlier than planned, after pediatric vaccine doses arrived in the province on Tuesday morning.

All Wednesday appointments snapped up as more than 20,000 kids booked for 1st dose

The pediatric dose of the COVID-19 vaccine arrived in Manitoba on Tuesday morning, and allowed the province to add 72 more appointments a day earlier than planned. (Submitted by Government of Manitoba)

Manitoba is rolling out vaccine appointments for children aged 5 to 11 a day earlier than planned, after pediatric vaccine doses arrived in the province on Tuesday morning.

On Monday, public health officials said the first appointments for children in this age group were Thursday.

But after pediatric vaccine arrived in the province on Tuesday morning, the vaccine implementation task force added 72 new appointments for kids at Winnipeg's downtown supersite, a provincial spokesperson said.

Vigilant parents snapped up all 72 bookings, which are on Wednesday between 3 p.m. and 8 p.m., they added.

More than 20,000 appointments have been booked so far for children in the age category since the beginning of the day on Monday when bookings were available.

The pediatric vaccine arrives Tuesday morning in Winnipeg. So far, more than 20,000 appointments have been made for children between 5 and 11 to get their shots. (Submitted by Government of Manitoba)

In one area that has a lower vaccine uptake for adults, the province allotted fewer pediatric appointments, but eventually had to nearly triple the number because of demand.

In Steinbach, Man., there were 1,100 appointments, but the province Increased that to 3,100, the spokesperson said.

"I have heard that the Steinbach uptake was greater than we were expecting and that the vaccine appointments filled up very quickly, which was really wonderful to hear," said Dr. Joss Reimer, the medical lead of the vaccine task force in a news conference on Monday.

That was fantastic news for Kyle Penner, a parent of three kids who just became eligible for the vaccine.

"I'm just looking forward to going to that supersite on Monday, having crying kids everywhere, stuffies are everywhere. Parents are going to be crying for a different reason than their kids," he said.

Parents and caregivers can book appointments for children either online or through the vaccine call centre at 1-844-626-8222 (1-844-MAN-VACC).

With files from Marina von Stackelberg

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