In today’s message you will find:

COVID-19 Surveillance Update

Since our last update on Friday, November 12:

  • Daily cases down: 813 new cases of COVID-19 have been identified, a daily average of 136 (down from 164). This includes 179 new cases today. The total case count in Manitoba now stands at 66,184.
  • Test positivity down: The provincial five-day test positivity rate is 5.4%, down from 6.1%. The regional test positivity rates range from 2.9% in Winnipeg to 14.4% in Southern health region. 
  • Active cases down: There are 1,404 active COVID-19 cases province-wide, up from 1,489.
  • Hospitalizations up: There are 157 people in Manitoba hospitals due to COVID-19, up from 145 from last week. This includes 30 COVID-related patients in Manitoba ICUs, unchanged from last week. 
  • Twelve more people have died from COVID-19. This brings the total COVID-19 related deaths to 1,281.

According to Health Canada’s tracking, Manitoba had 72 cases per 100,000 over the last seven days, down from 74 last week. Manitoba now leads all provinces with the highest rate of new cases, though it is still far lower than the peaks reached in Alberta and Saskatchewan earlier this fall.

PCH Visitation Updates

Personal Care Home visitation guidelines have been updated to require all designated family caregivers to be fully vaccinated and provide proof of vaccination upon entry to the facility. Individuals who are not fully vaccinated will be able to continue to visit socially as a general visitor according to the guidance below. The new Shared Health guidelines are available here.

Pediatric Pfizer Vaccine Approval Imminent

Health Canada is expected to announce tomorrow that it has authorized the Pfizer vaccine, Comirnaty, for children aged five to 11. Doses are expected days not weeks.” The pediatric dose is already authorized in the U.S. about two weeks ago, where 2.6 million children, or 10% of kids in this age group, have since received their first dose. 

Health Canada is also considering a second pediatric vaccine, Spikevax made by Moderna, which is intended for children age six to 11

Yesterday, the government and public health officials revealed plans about Manitoba’s pediatric vaccine rollout. Unlike earlier COVID vaccine rollouts, which relied primarily on provincial supersites, the province will rely primarily on pediatricians, family doctors and pharmacies to make the pediatric vaccine available widely across the province. Super sites, RHA- and community-based clinics and school immunization initiatives will also be key parts of the immunization efforts. 

Doses are expected to arrive in Manitoba within a week of Health Canada approval, which could mean the first children receive their first dose before the end of November, at the earliest. Ample supply is expected, which means there will be need to stagger eligibility and priority. There are approximately 125,000 children in this age group in Manitoba. 

So far, there have been over 6,000 cases of COVID-19 among the 5 – 11 age group, with 27 children hospitalized and 7 requiring intensive care. One child in this age group has died. Over the last couple of months, cases among children under 12, who are not eligible for the vaccine, have accounted for the majority of cases among youth.

A research poll commissioned by the province confirmed that:

  • 75% of parents with children between the ages of 5 – 11 intend on getting them vaccinated, with 15% undecided. Vaccination intention is higher among parents who are, themselves, vaccinated. 
  • Top hesitations for some parents include the perception of insufficient testing and concern about long-term side effects among children. 
  • Parents are most comfortable getting their children vaccinated from their primary health care provider, with over 80% selecting this option.
  • Doctors remain a top source of trusted information about vaccinations.

Doctors Manitoba is anticipating higher levels of vaccine hesitancy or caution among parents for children in this age group. We will be holding a public vaccine town hall to help address public concerns, updating our Man​i​to​baVac​cine​.ca site when the vaccine is approved, and sending facts and key messages to physicians to help you in responding to parents’ concerns. 

Gear Up for Pediatric Doses and Booster Shots! 

Manitoba Health is now accepting orders from doctors’ offices and pharmacies for the special pediatric dose of the Pfizer vaccine for children ages five to 11, in anticipation of Health Canada approval. That approval could come in the next week or two. Canada has secured enough doses for all children in this age group, and it is anticipated vaccine will be distributed within days of approval. We strongly recommend pediatricians, family physicians and other specialists sign up and order doses now to avoid a delay when the first vaccine supplies are distributed. 

If you have not yet signed up to offer COVID vaccines in your practice, you can register here.

Submit your Practice’s Vaccine Capacity by Friday!

If you have any plans to offer the COVID vaccine (pediatric or booster doses), we strongly encourage you to complete the Manitoba Health survey to submit your capacity. They are planning their vaccine supply allocation now this survey will be critical in their decisions. The survey is very brief and asks how many vaccine doses your clinic could administer on a weekly basis. Ensure one survey response is completed per clinic/​practice group. 

Complete Manitoba Health Vaccine Capacity Survey before 5PM on Friday November 19!

Have You Faced Threats or Abuse?

Physicians are facing a significant increase in threats, harassment and abuse. Our preliminary findings are very concerning, suggesting over half of physicians have experienced an increase in these incidents.

Please take a few minutes to complete our fall survey to share your experience. The survey should take about five minutes and includes the following topics:

  • Manitoba has a new Premier. What do you think should be the government’s health care priorities? 
  • We are in the fourth wave, with rising cases and hospitalizations. How worried are you, and what do you think about the current restrictions?
  • Have you been threatened, harassed or abused by a patient or the public? We need to know so we can better advocate for physician safety. 

Take survey now.

Inclusion of Physicians with Disabilities

Dr. Camille Munro, Dr. Michael Quon, and Dr. Kathleen Gartke at the The Ottawa Hospital have authored Fostering inclusion of physicians with disabilities at the Ottawa Hospital for the Canadian Journal of Physician Leadership. The call to action provides recommendations to create inclusive polices and practices for physicians with disabilities by highlighting the importance of reducing structural barriers, improving culture toward disability and providing training on the potential for reasonable accommodations. You can read the full article here.

New Safe Sleep for Baby Resource

On average 1 – 2 babies in Manitoba die each month in their sleep. Analysis of the circumstances of these deaths has shown that modifiable risk factors are common, including prone positioning, soft bedding and pillows, high risk sleep surfaces such as sofas/​chairs, and products not designed for sleep. 

A new resource for parents, Safe Sleeping for Your Baby, has been developed by the Winnipeg Regional Health Authority Population and Public Health Program. Thanks to physicians across the province for their feedback in the development of this resource, including Pediatrics, Obstetrics, Neonatology, and Pathology. This resource is intended to provide guidance to parents about reducing the risk of entrapment, suffocation and SIDS. It is available online in English and French on the Healthy Parenting Winnipeg website and print copies are available. If you work with prenatal clients or new parents, you may wish to share this information with them prenatally and postpartum as part of a discussion about safe sleep. The developer’s focus group and other research indicates that it is best if parents receive information and education on safe sleep during pregnancy since this is when parents plan their babies’ sleep space. In Winnipeg, Public Health offices, physicians and helping agencies can order a supply of Safe Sleeping for Your Baby at no charge HERE or by emailing Pauline Karlenzig at pkarlenzig2@​wrha.​mb.​ca. Outside of Winnipeg, contact your Public Health Office for copies.

National Physician Survey EXTENDED

The Canadian Medical Association (CMA) is inviting all practicing physicians and medical learners to participate in its 2021 National Physician Health Survey, even if you are not a CMA member. This is a critical time to understand the key factors affecting your practice, daily interactions, lifestyle, and mental health, as well as how the pandemic has affected pre-existing challenges or brought about new ones. By sharing your experiences, you will be supporting the CMA and other stakeholders in identifying the individual and system-level changes needed to better support physicians, create a healthier medical culture and guide our country’s post-pandemic recovery. We will have access to data specific to Manitoba, which will help us inform programming and supports for our members.

The survey should take less than 20 minutes; your time is greatly appreciated. You do not need to be a CMA member to participate. 

Complete the survey by Nov. 26

Celebrate Manitoba’s Physicians

Our 2022 Awards Nominations are open!

We are pleased to announce that nominations are now open for the 2022 Doctors Manitoba Awards! Nominations are due by December 142021.

As the pandemic continues to disrupt medical care and so many other things in our lives, we don’t want to lose sight of recognizing excellence in the medical profession. The Doctors Manitoba Awards are the highest honour in the province for physicians. There are no shortage of physicians who have been demonstrating excellence this year. For some, this has meant contributing to the pandemic response and vaccination campaign in some way. For others, it has meant persevering during the pandemic to continue their work on patient care, research and other priorities. 

Nominate a colleague today.

CMA Awards — Call for Nominations

Nominations are now open for the 2022 Canadian Medical Association (CMA) Awards. The CMA Awards recognize the dedication, successes and talents of Canadians who are making significant contributions to our health and health care. For information on how to nominate a colleague click here. The submission deadline is November 302021.

Nominate Jets Health Care Heroes

Shared Health and the Winnipeg Jets have teamed up to bring you Scheif’s Healthcare Heroes. You can now nominate a colleague or peer to be featured and celebrated at a Winnipeg Jets home game. Nominees will have​“stepped up in immeasurable ways, supporting patients, residents and clients navigate the additional stress of accessing health services during a pandemic.” Each home game will celebrate a Manitoban working in healthcare who has made an impact during the pandemic. You can nominate someone here. Nominations are open now, until December 31. A new call for nominees will open in the New Year.

Upcoming Events & Workshops

Physician Leadership Speaker Series Starts Monday!

Physician Leadership in Challenging Times: Building Capacity Through Connection is a four-part speaker series to give physicians an opportunity to build their leadership skills and knowledge and create opportunities for growth. The series was created in partnership with Doctors Manitoba and the University of Manitoba, Office of Leadership Education for Rady Faculty of Health Sciences is offered with generous support from Canadian Medical Association. It is a self-approved group learning activity (Section 1) as defined by the Maintenance of Certification Program of the Royal College of Physicians and Surgeons of Canada. Learn more about the series here. Download and print a poster to share with colleagues. 

Effective Allyship Event — Advancing Women in Healthcare Leadership

Equity in Medicine, a group of Canadian healthcare leaders growing a community of support to advance equity, diversity & inclusion in Medicine, has collaborated with Sanokondu to present Effective Allyship: Advancing Women in Healthcare Leadership. You can register for the virtual event, which will be held on Tuesday, November 23 at 7pm. Register now!

WCB Workshop

The Workers Compensation Board of Manitoba invites physicians to a free online workshop: Supporting Return to Health and Work after an Injury

On Wednesday, December 15, 2021; 6 p.m. to 8 p.m. join Dr. Mitch Cosman, Chief Medical Officer, and Dr. Cam Stacey, Medical Consultant to the WCB, for a two-hour online session covering best practice for fitness for work determination and use case studies applicable for you in your day-to-day practice. At the end of the workshop, the WCB will conduct a brief focus group to gather information for the development of future workshops.
You can find more information here and register here.