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Manitoba’s top doctor hopes to see increased vaccination numbers

The provincial government is urging Manitobans to get their COVID-19 and flu vaccines with respiratory viruses still on the prowl.

Dr. Brent Roussin, chief public health officer for the province, said 18 per cent of Manitobans have rolled up their sleeves for their coronavirus vaccines, which is a 4 per cent drop from this time last year.

He said 25 per cent of Manitobans have received their flu shots, which is almost on par with last year’s numbers.

But Roussin said he wants to see a bump in those numbers.

“(Vaccines) are very effective for what we want them to be effective at. Preventing severe outcomes. Like I say, in the (Intensive Care Unit), we didn’t see anyone admitted with influenza who was vaccinated. It’s heartbreaking in a way, because we know that it’s preventable,” he said.

Almost 60 per cent of people vaccinated for the flu are 65 years old and older, with 50 to 64-year-olds pulling up in second.

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“In those under age five, we still see only about 16 per cent,” he said. “For influenza, we know that is a risk factor.”

Earlier Friday, the government of Manitoba sent out a media release explaining it will be discontinuing general distribution of COVID-19 vaccines at the end of April. Manitobans wanting to access the vaccine on May 1 and afterward will need to speak with their health-care providers, Roussin said.

Still, “Summer isn’t when we see the high rates of transmission,” he said, adding fall is really when it’s best to get vaccinated.

&copy 2024 Global News, a division of Corus Entertainment Inc.


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