Manitoba’s health officials are advising all Manitobans who have received the COVID-19 vaccination to receive an updated booster shot this fall, as respiratory virus season approaches. Health Canada recently approved Moderna’s updated COVID-19 vaccine for individuals aged six months and older. This mRNA-based vaccine has been specifically formulated to provide increased protection against the XBB.1.5 Omicron subvariant, which is currently circulating.
To ensure that high-risk populations are prioritized, the initial doses of flu and COVID-19 vaccines will be allocated to immunize First Nations communities, individuals residing in personal care homes, and health-care workers. The public can expect doses of the vaccines to be available by early to mid-October. Distribution will take place at pharmacies, medical clinics, public health offices, and immunization clinics. The location of these facilities can be found through the province’s online vaccine finder.
The COVID-19 booster shot is recommended to be administered six months after receiving the last vaccine dose or recovering from a previous infection. Rapid COVID-19 tests are also accessible free of charge at various locations across Manitoba. However, it is important to note that rapid tests and PCR testing should only be utilized by individuals at high risk for severe outcomes, as it allows for early treatment options like antivirals.
As of September 9, approximately 77% of Manitoba residents have received at least two doses of a COVID-19 vaccine. These latest recommendations align with the province’s ongoing efforts to safeguard the health and well-being of its population during the respiratory virus season.
Source: Manitoba Health Officials