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Rapid Testing of Staff Latest Preventative Measure 
To Protect Manitobans: Stefanson

The province is expanding access to rapid COVID-19 testing for personal care home (PCH) staff, following the successful trial of rapid testing for asymptomatic staff (staff with no symptoms of COVID-19) at three Manitoba personal care homes, Health and Seniors Care Minister Heather Stefanson announced today.

This morning, the federal government advised Manitoba to expect a third supply reduction of the Pfizer vaccine. In the week of Feb. 1, Manitoba will receive two trays of vaccine (2,340 doses) instead of five (5,850 doses). Projections for the week of Feb. 8 are no longer being provided. The known reductions over the next two weeks (Jan. 25 to Feb. 7) represent a 90 per cent decrease from what was projected last week. So far, this means Manitoba will be receiving 32,760 fewer doses than had been expected.

As a result, Manitoba will stop taking appointments for the Winnipeg and Brandon super sites immediately. The province is currently reviewing its supply of vaccine to determine if any booked appointments will have to be cancelled as a result and will update Manitobans as soon as possible.

Manitoba has finalized additional guidance for health-care providers to help them answer questions from their patients and determine whether individuals with certain conditions should receive the COVID-19 vaccine when eligible. This includes people who have suppressed immune systems, have autoimmune conditions, or are pregnant or breastfeeding. This guidance is posted at https://manitoba.ca/covid19/vaccine/healthcare-professionals.html.

A total of 23,884 doses of vaccine have been administered in Manitoba including 20,846 first doses and a total of 3,038 second doses.

Focused immunization teams are providing immunizations at personal care homes across the province and will deliver first doses to all eligible and consenting residents by the end of January.

By the end of this week, teams will have visited 61 personal care homes with an estimated 3,903 residents. An estimated 90 per cent of residents have been immunized. Information about immunizations is not available from teams in real time, so a more accurate percentage will be available once the first visits are complete and data is entered. Next week, the teams will visit another 62 sites.

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