In order to build capacity and prepare for an unprecedented immunization campaign, the province has once again expanded the professions that will be able to protect Manitobans by administering the COVID-19 vaccine, Health and Seniors Care Minister Heather Stefanson announced.
“The number of vaccine doses delivered to Manitoba by the federal government so far is only a tiny fraction of what we will need in the coming months to protect Manitobans,” said Stefanson. “Today we are expanding the number of people permitted to administer vaccines, so that when those vaccines are delivered to our province, I have been assured that we will be ready to mobilize our plan to vaccinate up to 20,000 Manitobans a day.”
Earlier today, the minister signed an order under the Regulated Health Professions Act (vaccination administration) to add new professions able to administer the COVID-19 vaccine under certain conditions. Additional immunizers are not needed at this time due to low vaccine supply, but the order is part of the province’s contingency planning to mobilize a broader workforce if needed in the future.
The order applies to:
- athletic therapists,
- dental hygienists,
- massage therapists, and
“I want to thank all of the Manitobans who have stepped forward to play a part in the largest immunization rollout in the history of our province,” said Stefanson. “Manitoba is ready to start putting vaccines in arms as soon as we start receiving more supply from the federal government.”
In the coming weeks, the province will work with these professions and other stakeholders to discuss what types of training, recruitment and retention initiatives might be appropriate. More details will be shared with these professions as soon as it is available including when recruitment may be expanded to include their members.
The order is available at https://web2.gov.mb.ca/laws/statutes/index_orders.php. With the most recent expansion, a total of 17 professions can provide a COVID-19 immunization.
The announcement builds on previously announced initiatives to build Manitoba’s vaccination capacity in anticipation of additional vaccines becoming available in the coming weeks and months including:
- deploying Focused Immunization Teams (FIT) to vaccinate Manitoba’s most vulnerable residents in congregate care settings;
- partnering with the Manitoba First Nations COVID-19 Pandemic Response Coordination Team, the Southern Chiefs’ Organization and the Assembly of Manitoba Chiefs to open a vaccination site to immunize members of priority populations identified by First Nation medical leadership;
- opening of super sites in Winnipeg, Brandon and Thompson, with plans to open more in Southern Health-Santé Sud and Interlake–Eastern health regions; and
- partnering with doctors and pharmacists to provide immunizations when additional vaccines become available.
Earlier today, representatives from the Vaccine Implementation Task Force provided an update on recruitment and retention initiatives. The province currently has 1,457 COVID-19 immunizers ready to support the vaccine rollout across the province, in addition to hundreds of other related positions. Manitoba is preparing to deliver 20,000 doses of vaccine a day in the coming months, and a robust immunization workforce is needed to achieve that goal.
For more information about Manitoba’s COVID-19 vaccine campaign, visit manitoba.ca.