Steinbach MLA and acting Health and Seniors Care Minister Kelvin Goertzen, announced that Manitoba has hit a major milestone in the COVID-19 immunization campaign, as more than one million doses have now been administered.
“Manitobans have been making the choice to get vaccinated in incredible numbers, as demonstrated by hitting the one-million-doses mark. Even though this is an important milestone, there is much more work to do as we strive to reach immunization targets and reopen Manitoba,” said Goertzen. “This achievement is a testament to the historic effort put in by the workers and volunteers at our vaccine sites, those on the front lines and those on our Vaccination Implementation Task Force who have made this possible. They should all be as proud of their work as Manitobans are of them.”
The minister noted that Manitoba has consistently been in the top three provinces in terms of per capita doses administered, in recent weeks. Since the first dose of vaccine was given on Dec. 16., hundreds of thousands of people have received their first or second doses at the initial pilot location, super sites, pop-up clinics, medical clinics or pharmacies, urban Indigenous clinics, or with the support of a focused immunization team. The province continues to implement new vaccine distribution plans to reach people who might face barriers in being immunized, to help ensure the vaccine is available to everyone who wants to receive it.
“This milestone shows how far we’ve come, but we are already looking forward to the next hundred thousand doses, because that’s what Manitobans expect from us,” said Johanu Botha, operations, planning and logistics lead of the Vaccination Implementation Task Force. “We are offering a mix of fast, accessible and equitable opportunities for immunization, with partners across the province who have stepped up and helped us to deliver the largest immunization campaign in Manitoba’s history.”
Manitoba continues to expand eligibility for second doses, along with additional initiatives like the Manitoba Vaccination Lottery and the ProtectMB Community Outreach and Incentive Grants, to encourage immunization for as many people as possible.
“One million doses is something we can all be proud of,” said Dr. Joss Reimer, medical lead for the Vaccination Implementation Task Force. “Many people had to wait patiently at the beginning of this rollout, but you came forward for your shot when it was your turn – and your decision to protect yourself and your loved ones has brought us to this point. But our work isn’t done yet. The vaccine is safe, effective, and the best way for all of us to get back to the people and places we love.”
The million-dose milestone and National Public Service Week, will be marked at vaccine sites over the next week, to give ‘A Million Thanks for One Million Doses.’
All Manitobans are encouraged to share their vaccine story, an immunization experience to be celebrated or their thanks to the people who made it possible. Your A Million Thanks for One Million Doses message can be shared at engagemb.ca.
In support of vaccine uptake, the Manitoba government also recently announced the Manitoba Vaccination Lottery, which will provide nearly $2 million in cash and scholarships, as well as the ProtectMB Community Outreach and Incentive Grants.
For more information about Manitoba’s vaccine campaign, visit protectmb.ca.