The drop off to the COVID-19 vaccination super site at the RBC Convention Centre in Winnipeg on January 4, 2021. (CTV News Photo Jamie Dowsett)

As Manitoba’s COVID-19 vaccine super site opened Monday at the RBC Convention Centre in Winnipeg, Manitoba’s top doctor says doses of vaccine are being administered as they arrive in the province.

“Our rate limiting step is the vaccine we have on hand,” Dr. Brent Roussin, chief provincial public health officer, explained during Monday’s press briefing.

Dr. Roussin said it is expected about 7,000 shots will go into arms this week during appointments.

Right now, Manitobans eligible for a vaccine are health-care workers who are in direct contact with patients and:

  • work in critical care units;
  • work in long-term care facilities, born on or before Dec. 31, 1975 (changed from 1974);
  • work in acute care facilities, born on or before Dec. 31, 1975 (changed from 1974); or
  • are assigned to a COVID-19 immunization clinic or testing site.

On Monday, Roussin said vaccination inside personal care homes in Manitoba could start as early as next week.

“As far as how many will be vaccinated on every day and the names of where they're going to be starting - I don't have that,” he said.

Those decisions will be made by the Vaccine Task Force, said Roussin, who he said are using an algorithm for the approach.

“Our approach is really based on balance of the highest-risk settings, and the ability to get the most vaccines and the most arms in the shortest period of time.”

Dr. Roussin said further information on vaccine rollout will be available Wednesday.

Work is also still happening on getting the Moderna vaccine doses to First Nations communities in Manitoba.

According to Dr. Roussin, the province has received 5,300 doses that are set aside for remote communities.

“They're not at this point, you know, in the community,” he said. “We're working with the clinical leadership, that's appointed by First Nations, First Nation leaders to see how we're going to disseminate those doses.”

As for when members of the general public will be eligible to book a vaccine appointment, Dr. Roussin says it depends on the supply the province receives and the uptake with the cohorts that are eligible now.

“So it's difficult to, to know for sure when we'll do that,” he said. “We're looking at different strategies even right now in the near future, to offer (the) vaccine to higher-risk groups within the general population. So we'll have more to come on that but a lot of this is changing daily.”