In today’s message you will find:

COVID Updates

Take 2 Min to Help Boost Vaccine Confidence?

Can you take two minutes to take our quick snap poll about your vaccination status?

We are hearing from physicians concerned about lower uptake on COVID booster shots, and concern about flu shot uptake too. Manitobans trust physicians about medical issues, so we are doing a quick survey about your views, which will help us to plan a public update about preparing for fall and winter when it comes to a potential twindemic” of COVID and influenza.

Take the Twindemic Snap Poll Here

COVID Surveillance Update

Public Health posts weekly COVID-19 Surveillance Reports on Thursdays. This week’s report covers the week ending October 1 and shows​similar activity to last week. Highlights include:

  • Severe outcomes from COVID-19 increased slightly compared to the previous week. There were 73 hospital admissions, down from 77 last week. This includes 14 ICU admissions, up from 13 last week. Weekly hospital admissions last peaked at 264 in the week ending April 16.
  • There were 6 deaths recorded, up from 3 last week. There have now been 2,190 deaths related to COVID-19.
  • There were 341 lab-confirmed cases reported in Manitoba over the last week, up from 305 last week.
  • The test positivity rate was 24.1%, up from 23.4% last week.

The updated wastewater surveillance dashboard for Winnipeg and Brandon show lower levels. 

Pfizer bivalent approved in Canada

Last Friday Health Canada authorized a second bivalent COVID-19 vaccine booster. This updated version of the Pfizer BioNTech Cominarty vaccine targets the Omicron BA.4 and BA.5 subvariants and is authorized for use as a booster to patients 12 years of age and older. Thorough and independent scientific review of the evidence has determined that this booster is safe and effective and is expected to trigger a strong immune response against both the original SARS-CoV‑2 strain as well as the Omicron BA.4 and BA.5 subvariants. It is expected to have a similar safety profile to the original Pfizer-BioNTech Comirnaty vaccine, with mostly mild side effects. This new booster vaccine is the only bivalent vaccine approved for 12 – 17 year olds. 

The National Advisory Committee on Immunization updated its guidance:

  • Strongly recommends a fall COVID vaccine booster dose for all individuals age 65+ and for all individuals age 12+ who are at increased risk of severe illness.
  • All other individuals can also be offered a COVID vaccine booster dose.
  • A bivalent Omicron-containing mRNA booster is the preferred booster product, though those who receive original booster doses continue to receive good protection against severe outcomes, including from Omicron infections.
  • The recommended interval continues to be six months after a previous COVID vaccine dose or infection. A shorter interval of three months can be considered based on the level of community spread, individual risk and other considerations.

Manitoba Public Health recommends that individuals 12 years of age and older receive an Omicron-containing fall booster dose. Manitoba Heath’s bulletin reminds that the bivalent vaccines are only authorized as a booster. Patients must complete their primary series of vaccines (usually 2 doses) before being eligible for the bivalent booster vaccine. In Manitoba, individuals 18 years of age and older are eligible for either the Moderna BA.1 bivalent vaccine or Pfizer BA.4/5 bivalent vaccine. 

The province expects to receive the new Pfizer bivalent vaccine by the end of this week. It will then ship it to clinics, pharmacies and vaccine sites across Manitoba. Delivery dates may vary, so while it may be available in vaccine sites earlier, the Pfizer bivalent vaccine is expected to be at most vaccine locations by Oct. 24

A new tariff has been set for administering the new Pfizer BA.4/5 booster. Please use tariff 8267.

On Demand Webinar

A few weeks ago we hosted an exclusive webinar with Dr. Brent Roussin to discuss the potential for a​‘twindemic’ with COVID and flu, as well as other public health priorities. Find out the current status in Manitoba, what might be coming this fall, and what keeps Dr. Roussin up at night these days. You can watch the session on demand here.

Physician Health Podcast featuring DRMB

Healthy systems can support a variety of people. In an unhealthy system, however, even the healthy struggle to thrive. At Doctors Manitoba, our goal is to give every physician the support they need to deliver exceptional care. That support begins with working towards a health care system that is as healthy as possible to allow physicians to flourish and, in turn, provide the best care they can.

Doctors Manitoba Director of Planning and Physician Health, Trina Larsen sat down with Vice President of Physician Health and Wellness at CMA, Dr. Caroline Gérin-Lajoie to discuss the 3‑year Physician Health & Wellness Community of Practice Project on the CMA’s Podcast Physicians First. Trina outlined the physician-led, evidence-informed action plans for systemic change that address the broad, institutional issues that drive physician burnout and distress. Listen now.

You can subscribe to Physicians First on Apple Podcasts, Spotify or Amazon Music.

Our New Physician Campaign

Earlier this month, we launched a new public campaign about physicians. Our What Matters” campaign emphasizes how physicians are working hard to care for their patients, while at the same time pushing for a better health system for all Manitobans.

We’re hearing more about more from physicians on the front line who are bearing the brunt of patient frustration about delays and wait times, when you are nearly as frustrated as your patients. We hope our campaign shows how physicians are trying to push for solutions for their patients.

You can watch our commercial here, and download images here to post on social media. You can also see our public campaign page at Car​ing​For​Man​i​to​ba​.ca.

You may see or hear our ads this month on TV, radio, in the newspaper, on billboards, or online.

Student Insurance Update

Doctors Manitoba offers Student Disability Insurance which provides you a monthly income if you are unable to attend school due to an injury or sickness. We are offering a non-medical open enrollment to all medical students till November 30, 2022. To book a one-on-one session with our Insurance Coordinator, Mark Venton click here.

For details on the coverage and to apply, click here.

MCFP Scientific Assembly — Call for Abstracts

The Manitoba College of Family Physician’s Continuing Education and Research Committee is excited to issue a call for abstract submissions for the 2023 Annual Scientific Assembly. The ASA will be held on April 28, 2023. The ASA will be a hybrid event this year, combining the convenience of recent virtual events, with the opportunity to connect with our colleagues in person again. 

Submissions will be accepted until October 26, 2022 and will be reviewed by the Continuing Education and Research Committee to determine the academic curriculum for the 2023 ASA

Please email your submissions to info@​mcfp.​mb.​ca

If you have questions about the call for abstracts, email Staci Bailey, MCFP Director of Operations sbailey@​mcfp.​mb.​ca

Health in the News

Recent stories about health and medicine in the news:


Here are some important and popular recent updates, in case you missed them:

Upcoming Events

Upcoming events are always listed on our events calendar.

Featured Events

Inclusive Leadership Workshop — November 1 — 6:30pm

Leadership has a measurable impact on the wellness and satisfaction of teams. So, too, does a physicians’ experience of equity and inclusion. Doctors Manitoba and the University of Manitoba, Office of Leadership Education for Rady Faculty of Health Sciences, are continuing their Joint Leadership Education Series to support physician leadership pathways that benefit everyone. 

In this interactive, 90 minute workshop, participants will begin to learn, understand, and converse on leadership through an inclusive lens. In a crisis (and far too often healthcare and medicine is required to navigate crises), leadership is often driven by a sense of urgency. Leaders find themselves looking inward with a narrow focus and surrounding themselves with those who share similar values and ideas. This session will explore how to maintain inclusive leadership and create an environment that fosters inclusion throughout a crisis. The workshop will delve into three components that are rooted in constructive tensions that inclusive leaders can leverage to bring balance, predictability, and moderation to their teams and organization.

Raising Awareness — Avoiding Unauthorized Health Products Online — Five Session Options in November.

This webinar is intended to increase awareness of the prevalence of unauthorized and/​or adulterated health products in the online market place. This webinar will also provide resources to health care professionals in order to guide patients to legitimate sources of compliant health products.

Other Events