Manitoba Vaccine Task Force says new immunization model reason for long lines

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Every day more Manitobans get the COVID-19 vaccine, but the process hasn’t been without challenges.

Last week saw long lineups at the Winnipeg supersite, with some waiting as long as two hours for the shot.

Tuesday, however, people getting vaccinated at the supersite, like Jodianna Paterson said it was an easy process.

“We were a little concerned about the lines,” said Paterson, who accompanied her mother to the site because she heard there would be a long wait.

“(My mother) totally could have managed it because they were well organized and had lots of people around to support and lots of places to sit down.”

Manitoba’s Vaccine Implementation Task Force said the long waits over the weekend were due to a new system immunization model that was implemented at the supersite in Morden and Winnipeg.

The new model has people stay in place, while immunizers circulate to administer the shots.

This method can accommodate 4,000 appointments each day, but co-lead of the task force, Johanu Botha, said the system is very susceptible to delays.

“Some staff challenges around scheduling, combined with the sheer volume of doses we pivoted to starting Friday using a new model, caused people delays,” said Botha.

Botha said everyone who went to the supersite and waited, got a vaccine.

Health Critic for the opposition, NDP MLA Uzoma Asagwara, said they see long lines outside or the RBC supersite almost daily.

“This is something that is unacceptable and it needs to be rectified. And again, I think it’s a reflection of the poor planning on part of this government,” said Asagwara.

Tuesday Anna Thibert went to get her first shot at the RBC supersite, she’s in the health care industry, and said the site seemed very organized.

“The lineups were actually very quick, a lot of walking through (different areas’), but it all seemed pretty efficient.”

Thibert said she was in and out in less than 45 minutes.

“I believe they’ve ironed out some of the glitches and it looks like it’s pretty smooth running in there.”

Paterson agrees, all the issues have been worked out.

“They’ve definitely responded and fixed anything that wasn’t working last week, it’s nice and organized now.”

Despite delays in Winnipeg, the task force said the new model has been working very well in Morden, Manitoba, where the site has less volume.