West Kildonan, Old St. Vital, Elmwood among Winnipeg areas where all adults can now book a vaccine
These will be the last neighbourhoods designated for priority vaccine access, Dr. Joss Reimer says
Manitoba has added more Winnipeg neighbourhoods to the list of COVID-19 hot spots in which all adults residents can get vaccinated.
The areas added Tuesday, which are based on census neighbourhoods, include St. Vital North, River East South and Seven Oaks East.
St. Vital North includes the northern part of St. Vital, between Bishop Grandin Boulevard, the Red River, the Seine River and Carriere Avenue, commonly referred to as Old St. Vital.
River East South incorporates the neighbourhoods of Elmwood and Chalmers, while Seven Oaks East covers a large section of the city's northwest, west of the Red River, including the neighbourhoods of West Kildonan and Garden City.
The province's website includes a map of the hot spots searchable by postal code.
These will be the last communities designated for priority vaccine access, Dr. Joss Reimer, medical lead on the province's vaccine implementation task force, said during a technical briefing with reporters on Monday.
In addition to residents, those working certain jobs in the hot spot areas — including teachers, convenience store employees and restaurant staff — can now book appointments at a supersite, a pop-up clinic or an urban Indigenous vaccine clinic.
There are now 14 designated health districts in Manitoba designated for priority vaccine access. Also, everyone living and working in the Northern Health Region is eligible.
In other parts of the province, general eligibility for the Pfizer-BioNTech and Moderna vaccines remains at 50 and older for the general population, and 18 and older for Indigenous people.
Those 40 and older, and people 30 to 39 with certain specific health conditions, are also eligible to get the AstraZeneca-Oxford vaccine at a pharmacy or medical clinic.
Appointments at supersites or pop-up clinics can be made through the province's online booking site or by calling 1-844-626-8222.
Alman Pilapil, a Winnipeg resident who lives in the Garden City area, is happy to learn that he and his wife are now eligible for the COVID-19 vaccine.
"My wife, when I call her, she'll be so happy," Pilapil, 45, told CBC News Tuesday afternoon.
Pilapil works as a supervisor at a food preparation establishment and said it takes a lot of effort to ensure he's sanitizing and not bringing anything home from work and vice-versa.
Getting the vaccine will add a layer of protection for him, his wife and co-workers from the novel coronavirus that causes COVID-19, he said.
Ivan Acenas, 41, said the eligibility criteria expansion is a welcome development for the area — especially people in the Filipino community.
"That's good news for us," said Acenas. "We want the vaccine."
Meanwhile, Harinder Dhind, 31, wants to book her shot because it moves the community that much closer to some sort of normalcy and safety.
"I will be very happy," she said.
With files from Jill Coubrough