More Manitobans now eligible for third dose of COVID-19 vaccine

With at least two vaccine candidates showing promising results, the challenge of distributing a potential vaccine for COVID-19 looms large. (AFP)

More Manitobans are now eligible for a COVID-19 booster shot, the province announced Wednesday.

The provincial government said it now recommends all First Nations, Inuit and Métis people who are 18 years old and up, along with people 70 and older get a third dose of the COVID-19 vaccine.

The province said the third dose should be given at least six months after the last dose was received.

It said wherever possible, the third dose should be the same mRNA vaccine (i.e. Pfizer of Moderna) as the previous dose, but either mRNA vaccine is safe to receive.

The province also said it is now recommending people receive their second dose eight weeks after their first dose.

The previous recommendation was four weeks.

The new guidance is in-line with recommendations from the National Advisory Committee on Immunization.

As of Wednesday, health officials announced 128 new cases of COVID-19 and two new deaths.

The province has had 1,251 deaths since the start of the pandemic and currently has 1,345 active COVID-19 cases.

Manitoba's five-day test positivity rate is 4.9 per cent.

Looking at vaccines, 87 per cent of eligible Manitobans have received at least one dose of the vaccine while 83.9 per cent are fully vaccinated.