Today, Manitoba Public Health provided an update on the province’s plan to roll out the Moderna bivalent booster vaccine, which was approved yesterday by Health Canada. It also provided information about expanding eligibility for additional boosters for ages 12+. 

Because supplies will be limited over the next few weeks, eligibility for the bivalent vaccine will be initially prioritized for the following individuals: 

  • Adults aged 65 or older.
  • Indigenous people aged 18 or older, regardless of where they live.
  • Adults of any age with higher-risk medical conditions, including people who are immunocompromised due to a health condition or medication.
  • Health-care workers aged 18 or older.
  • Residents of personal care homes and other congregate living facilities including assisted living, group homes, shelters and correctional facilities.

The bivalent booster should follow the primary series of vaccine (usually two doses), and it is recommended to wait six months after the last dose of vaccine or a COVID infection. This period can be reduced to three months if individuals and their physician feel they are at increased risk. The bivalent vaccine can be administered at the same time as other vaccines. 

Shipments of vaccine should start arriving in Manitoba, with 27,650 doses expected next week and 77,600 the following week. More doses will follow through September.

Eligibility for the bivalent vaccine is expected to be expanded to all individuals aged 18+ within a few weeks based on vaccine availability. NACI has also recommended off-label use of the vaccine for youth aged 12 – 17 who are at higher risk for severe disease.

Appointments can be booked starting next week through the online vaccine booking tool or by calling 18446268222. The bivalent booster will also be available at medical clinics, pharmacies, and through Indigenous partners.

Waiting for a Bivalent Booster

Manitoba Public Health is now recommending that individuals eligible now or in the next few weeks wait for access to a bivalent booster, as it provides additional protection from COVID-19

See our update yesterday for further information about the Health Canada approval and NACI recommendations, including how this Moderna bivalent booster designed to target BA.1 is showing effectiveness against BA.5.

Booster Eligibility Expanding

Starting September 12, anyone aged 12 and older can access a fall booster of the monovalent (original) vaccine if they choose, which could be a second or third booster depending on their age and uptake. This aligns with the National Advisory Committee on Immunization’s recommendations for access to fall boosters. Again, everyone is encouraged to wait a few weeks for access to the new bivalent vaccine. 

Other Details

Walk-in vaccinations will no longer be available at RBC Convention Centre after Saturday, September 10. The last day of operations at the convention centre will be September 17. The first appointments at the vaccine clinic opening at 1680 Notre Dame Ave. will be Tuesday, September 20. Walk-ins will not be available at this location.

As part of ongoing work to build capacity and support immunization outreach across the province, Manitoba’s policies have been updated to allow pharmacists to give COVID-19 and seasonal flu vaccines to individuals aged two and older.

You can view the Public Health bulletin here.