Jennifer Cochrane, a public health nurse with Prairie Mountain Health in Virden, readies the first dose of the Pfizer-BioNTech COVID-19 vaccine during the first day of immunizations at the Brandon COVID-19 vaccination super site at the Keystone Centre earlier this year. (Courtesy the Government of Manitoba)

Jennifer Cochrane, a public health nurse with Prairie Mountain Health in Virden, readies the first dose of the Pfizer-BioNTech COVID-19 vaccine during the first day of immunizations at the Brandon COVID-19 vaccination super site at the Keystone Centre earlier this year. (Courtesy the Government of Manitoba)

The province has hit a new milestone, with more than 200,000 doses of COVID-19 vaccines administered in the province. 

Five vaccine super sites are currently operating in Manitoba, including those in Winnipeg, Selkirk, Brandon, Morden and Thompson. 

Brandon’s is operating out of the Keystone Centre, though the ability to book appointments has been sporadic in recent weeks.

The province is currently planning more vaccine locations “to open in the weeks ahead,” according to a release issued by the province Saturday, which noted thousands of eligible and consenting residents of personal care homes have received both doses of vaccine. 

“This milestone we achieved today is one of many we still hope to achieve thanks to the work of key stakeholders, health providers, as well as the leadership of our First Nations partners,” said Johanu Botha, operations lead of the Vaccination Implementation Task Force. “We still have much work ahead of us and remain focused on putting thousands of needles in arms in the biggest immunization campaign in our history.”

There are currently four vaccines authorized for use by Health Canada, including Moderna, Pfizer, AstraZeneca/Covishield and Janssen (Johnson & Johnson). The single-dose Janssen vaccine is not yet available. 

Vaccination Implementation Task Force medical lead Dr. Joss Reimer said those waiting to get their vaccine will see their turn “come soon,” though a timeline is not offered. 

The province’s queue calculator offers Manitobans a vague idea by having them plug in variables, such as age, to determine where they are in the queue. 

This is available online at gov.mb.ca/covid19/vaccine/queue-calculator.html. 

“Vaccines are safe, effective and the best way for us to get back to the things we love,” Reimer said. “When it is your turn, make your appointment and be immunized as soon as possible.”

» The Brandon Sun

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