December 13, 2022
Manitoba Health advises that a bivalent booster vaccine has been approved and recommended for children aged five to 11. Children in this age group have previously been eligible for a booster dose with the monovalent (original) Pfizer pediatric vaccine. This is the first bivalent booster vaccine available for this age group.
This vaccine is being delivered to Manitoba this week and will then be shipped to vaccine sites across the province. The vaccines are expected to become available at sites the week of Dec. 19. However, to ensure children can receive a bivalent booster dose, book the appointment for Dec. 23 or later or check with the provider to confirm availability.
Parents and caregivers of children aged five to 11 who would like to make an appointment for a bivalent booster dose can begin doing so tomorrow at 9 a.m. using the online booking tool or by contacting the vaccine call centre at (toll-free) 1-844-626-8222 (1-844-MAN-VACC). Medical clinics and pharmacies can also be contacted directly for appointments.
The bivalent vaccine has been developed to provide protection against two strains of COVID-19: the original strain of the virus and the omicron variant. Public health recommends people who are due for a booster should get the bivalent vaccine. Boosters are important because protection against COVID-19, either from previous immunizations or an infection, decreases over time. Children aged five to 11 who previously received a booster dose with the monovalent (original) vaccine do not need to receive a second booster with the bivalent vaccine.
Public health encourages all Manitobans, including parents and caregivers, to make vaccination a part of holiday planning. Many clinics and other locations will continue to offer vaccinations, by appointment or by walk-in, over the coming weeks. Being up-to-date on all vaccinations, including COVID-19 and seasonal influenza, will help protect people and their families and friends over the holiday season as gatherings and celebrations are held. Based on updated clinical guidance, everyone aged six months and older can safely get the COVID-19 vaccine at the same time as other vaccines including the flu vaccine.
As of Dec. 6, more than 208,400 doses of bivalent vaccine have been administered in Manitoba and entered in the provincial immunization registry.
Manitoba’s Pandemic Response System (PRS) will be retired this week and removed from www.manitoba.ca/covid19. It has been at the limited risk (green) level since March 2022, due to the broad availability of safe and effective vaccines. Public health restrictions also ended at that time, meaning the PRS is no longer required to provide a view of regional or sector-specific requirements. The PRS will continue to be a tool available to the government to share information with Manitobans in the future, should it be required.
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For more information:
- Public information, contact Manitoba Government Inquiry: 1-866-626-4862 or 204-945-3744.