The first vaccinations against COVID-19 at the Keystone Centre in Brandon will take place on Monday morning at 8:30. Premier Brian Pallister made the announcement Wednesday afternoon, Jan. 13, at the Brandon site, saying staff is hired and they are busy putting everything in place for those with vaccine appointments on Jan. 18.
The center will operate 12 hours per day. Staff has been hired to provide Westman citizens who have made appointments with the Pfizer vaccine.
The premier also introduced the Hon. Heather Stefanson, just eight days into her new role as Minister of Health.
Stefanson said, “This site provides further hope to Westman as we continue our battle against this virus.”
Brandon vaccine clinic will open its doors on Monday morning and will be ready to vaccinate 4,100 priority health-care workers in its first week of operations.
The vaccination process has, from the start of the campaign, been based upon strict criteria for eligibility. Even as eligibility is being expanded, there’s a confidential phone number to get in line. It has not been released publicly, but is shared directly with eligible groups and agencies to identify eligible staff. Through that process, staff will be contacted directly to schedule appointments.
As of Jan. 12, just over a thousand people have been hired to assist with Manitoba’s vaccination efforts at the sites in Winnipeg and Brandon. This includes immunizers, clinic managers, clinical leads, system navigators and observers. This is in addition to 595 staff who have been assigned to COVID-19 immunization efforts from regional health authorities, bringing the total of new hires and existing staff to 1,666.
Eligibility Criteria as of Jan. 13:
- work in critical care units (intensive care units only, no age restrictions);
- work in long-term care facilities, born on or before Dec. 31, 1977 (changed from Dec. 31, 1975);
- work in acute care facilities, born on or before Dec. 31, 1975;
- assigned to a COVID-19 immunization clinic or designated COVID-19 testing site (no age restrictions and may include some individuals who do not have direct contact with patients, based on their role);
- work in a laboratory handling COVID-19 specimens (no age restrictions and may include some individuals who do not have direct contact with patients, based on their role);
- work on a designated COVID-19 hospital ward (no age restrictions);
- work in provincial or federal correctional facilities (no age restrictions);
- emergency response services (ERS) and specialty patient transportation workers registered with their applicable college or association in Manitoba, born on or before December 31, 1975. This group includes professionals who perform ERS and patient transportation by land and air such as paramedics, emergency medical responders, nurses and respiratory therapists;
- home care workers born on or before Dec. 31, 1975 (changed from Dec. 31, 1965) who are employed by a regional health authority (RHA), employed by a RHA contracted service providers or employed by a self- and family-managed care program client;
- work in hospital emergency and urgent care departments (no age restrictions), and;
- staff employed in congregate group care settings who provide direct care to individuals in the Community Living disABILITY Services, Child and Family Services, Homeless Shelters and Family Violence Shelters.