The medical lead of Manitoba’s vaccination task force is defending the province’s plan and says vaccines are going into arms as quickly as possible.
As of Wednesday, the province had administered 222,130 doses while 407,130 had been received, which adds up to just over 54 per cent of the doses being given out.
Dr. Joss Reimer tells 680 CJOB the low numbers are due in part to a delay in data entry, because many of the doses have been sent out to pharmacies, pop-up clinics and other remote locations.
“Not only are doses on the way, but a lot of them have gone into arms,” Reimer said. “But working in remote settings, data takes time to get back and that can translate into 100,000 doses into arms.”
Reimer says the way Manitoba counts is different from other provinces.
“We wait until we show that the dose went into a specific individual’s arm, whereas you look at other provinces, they count based on appointments, which we could do and show that we’re right up there.”
The province committed $100 million to the vaccine program in the 2021 budget, but NDP leader Wab Kinew says details were minimal.
“I think you need a sense of urgency and that was sorely lacking when it comes to the vaccine plan in (Wednesday’s) budget,” Kinew said.
“If the mere issue was just about spending money in the vaccine rollout, why was that money not being invested already?
“It’s fallen sorely behind. Where were the details about how they’re going to get that train back on track and arriving at our destination?”
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But the doctor says Manitoba’s plan is working.
“We are behind in data entry, but this team is working so hard to get vaccines out and doing an amazing job,” Reimer said.
“I’ve been disheartened about the communication in the public, but encouraged by the actual rollout that I see happening.”
As of Wednesday, 158,128 Manitobans had received at least one dose.
Almost 365,000 doses are scheduled to go into arms in the next 28 days.
The province says it could give out 20,918 doses per day if vaccine supply was not an issue.