COVID-19 Vaccine
 

Questions and Answers



Yes. This includes anyone residing in Manitoba, regardless of immigration status: refugee claimants, migrant workers, international students, dependent children of temporary residents, and undocumented residents. These individuals should bring some form of government-issued photo ID, such as a passport, in order to get the vaccine.


The National Advisory Committee on Immunization provides guidance to provinces and territories. Today, they updated guidance to extend the spacing between the first and second doses to four months. In anticipation of that guidance, Manitoba announced it will take this approach.


Things continue to move rapidly in vaccine planning. This decision is based on what public health officials are seeing in real-world conditions about the effectiveness of the vaccines currently authorized for use in Canada.

These vaccines are providing a significant level of protection, meaning there is a clear advantage to getting vaccine to more people, sooner. This approach will allow us to immunize more Manitobans sooner.


Manitoba will need to make changes to its vaccine campaign in the coming days because of this shift.  More details will be provided as soon as those changes are known.  Updated information will be shared through media and at Manitoba.ca/vaccine.


Eligibility requirements will still be in place. You can find the most up-to-date information on vaccine eligibility and a vaccine calculator at Manitoba.ca/vaccine.


Things continue to move rapidly in vaccine planning. This decision is based on what we are seeing in real-world conditions about the effectiveness of the vaccines currently authorized for use in Canada and around the world. 

These vaccines are providing a significant level of protection, meaning there is a clear advantage to getting vaccine to more people, sooner. This approach will allow us to immunize more Manitobans sooner.


The vaccines currently authorized for use in Canada and around the world are providing a significant level of protection. Clinical and real-world studies have shown all of these vaccines to be effective in preventing COVID-19. And, people who have been immunized are much less likely to have serious symptoms even if they do become infected. 

At this time, health officials are recommending that people access the first vaccine they are eligible to get so they can be protected sooner rather than later.


At this time, the evidence shows it is safe to get more than one COVID-19 vaccine. However, the focus at this time is making sure as many people as possible get vaccinated as soon as possible.

People should get the first vaccine they are eligible for, so they can be protected sooner rather than later. This will allow us to protect more Manitobans sooner.


No. Eligibility requirements will still be in place. You can find the most up-to-date information on vaccine eligibility at Manitoba.ca/vaccine.


There have been clinical trials, data reviews and all of the processes associated with a more typical vaccine authorization process. Each of the vaccines that have been approved have been tested and found to be safe and effective.

Clinical and real-world studies have shown all of these vaccines to be effective in preventing COVID-19. And, people who have been immunized are much less likely to have serious symptoms even if they do become infected. 


The short answer is: Yes.

Like all vaccines, Health Canada will review the safety and effectiveness of COVID-19 vaccines that will be used throughout the country.  A vaccine must go through this process successfully before it can be used.

It is possible that Manitoba will receive vaccines from several manufacturers and each vaccine will have to go through the same approval process. Since they are new, the COVID-19 vaccines will undergo more rigorous monitoring for adverse events.

More information:

COVID-19: How vaccines are developed (Government of Canada)
With described video
Vaccine safety (Government of Manitoba)


All vaccines approved for use in Canada are monitored for safety and effectiveness. The Public Health Agency of Canada collects individual reports about people who have had mild or serious side effects after immunization. These are called ‘adverse events’.

This data is used to identify any patterns that may suggest a safety concern with the vaccine. This is used to develop guidelines to ensure people can access the vaccine safely.  


No. The Manitoba government covers all costs for the COVID-19 vaccine. Please bring your Manitoba Health card or other form of government issued identification, to your appointment.


Eligibility criteria for the COVID-19 vaccine is guided by the National Advisory Committee on Immunization’s (NACI’s) guidance on the prioritization of initial doses of COVID-19 vaccine(s) (updated December 23, 2020). In addition, Manitoba officials considered logistics issues, such as unique storage and handling requirements for the first vaccine, when they made decisions about eligibility.


According to the National Advisory Committee on Immunization (NACI), COVID-19 immunization may be offered to some special populations if a case-by-case assessments deems that the benefits outweigh the risks/unknowns.

This includes:

  • people with weakened immune systems due to disease or treatment
  • people with an autoimmune disorder
  • people who are pregnant or breastfeeding 

A risk assessment may determine the benefits of vaccine outweigh the potential risks. In these situations, the COVID-19 vaccine may be offered if informed consent includes a discussion about the low levels of evidence about the vaccine safety for these populations.

At this time, individual risk assessments can be done at the designated COVID-19 immunization clinics. However, for those who have complicated health conditions or individualized questions, a discussion with their regular healthcare provider is recommended.  Individuals who are pregnant, planning to become pregnant or breastfeeding; immunosuppressed due to disease or treatment and/or have an autoimmune condition must complete both the standard and the enhanced consent form.


More appointments are being added as additional supplies of the vaccine are delivered to the province. Please continue to check Immunization Clinics for the most current information on clinics and vaccine availability.


Right now, there is a limited supply of vaccine in Canada and worldwide. Vaccine supply is expected to increase as more vaccines are developed, approved and distributed. As supply increases, the eligibility criteria for the COVID-19 vaccine will be updated.


The Government of Canada has signed seven advance purchase agreements with vaccine manufacturers that are in various stages of developing a COVID-19 vaccine. Some of these are in earlier phases where they are primarily assessing the safety of the vaccines, while others are in the final phase where they must demonstrate effectiveness.  If a vaccine has favourable results from this phase, manufacturers can request Health Canada approval and market authorization.

Health Canada will only approve a vaccine for public use if there is sufficient data on safety and effectiveness. The Pfizer-BioNTech vaccine was the first approved for use in Canada.

More information: Regulating vaccines for human use in Canada (Government of Canada)


You might be, but it may be too soon to tell. Studies are underway about the long-term success of the vaccine. You should still get your second dose on schedule. You should also continue to stay home if you’re sick, practice physical distancing, wear a mask, wash your hands and keep practicing good cough and hand hygiene.


You should continue to reduce travel as much as possible. This is because COVID-19 may still be able to spread to others, even if you’ve been vaccinated and don’t get sick. Wearing a mask can reduce this risk.

You should also continue to stay home if you’re sick, practice physical distancing, wash your hands and keep practicing good cough and hand hygiene.


You should continue to wear a mask. This is because COVID-19 may still be able to spread to others, even if you’ve been vaccinated and don’t get sick. Wearing a mask can reduce this risk.

You should also continue to stay home if you’re sick, practice physical distancing, wash your hands and keep practicing good cough and hand hygiene.

If you have been identified as a close contact, you are not required to self-isolate (quarantine) if you have received both vaccine doses, provided that:

  • You have no symptoms and it has been more than 14 days since your 2nd dose,
  • You do not live in a health care (i.e. long term care home) or congregate setting, and
  • You do not have a medical condition that could compromise vaccine effectiveness, and

You should self-monitor for symptoms of COVID-19 for 14 days following any exposure, and isolate yourself immediately if any develop and get tested.

For travellers, note that provincial and federal travel orders do NOT provide any quarantine exemptions related to your vaccination status.


There is no simple answer to this question. It will depend on many factors, including how many people get vaccinated, how long it takes to get people vaccinated and how long the vaccine is effective.

You should continue to stay home if you’re sick, practice physical distancing, wear a mask, wash your hands and keep practicing good cough and hand hygiene.


Studies are underway about the long-term success of the vaccine. The results of these studies will help health care providers determine if booster shots are needed.


To date, there is no data about the safety or effectiveness of COVID-19 vaccines in pregnant or breastfeeding individuals. This is because these people have not been part of the clinical trials. At this point, it is recommended that individuals who are pregnant or breastfeeding speak to their primary care provider about the risk and benefits of getting the COVID vaccine. They can also go through the enhanced consent form with their provider prior to booking an appointment for the COVID vaccine. 


At this time, no vaccine is approved for use in Canada in children under the age of 16. This is because clinical trials of the vaccines have prioritized adults. As more information becomes available and vaccines are approved for use in children, this will change.


At this time, there is a limited supply of vaccine for use in Canada. That means governments have to make decisions about how to prioritize vaccination. This allows us to protect high-risk populations and those who help keep our health care system working. When there are enough vaccines available, the immunization program will be expanded. Visit Current Eligibility Criteria for the most up-to-date information.


At this time, there is a limited supply of vaccine for use in Canada. We have set our priority groups for immunization, but we don’t have enough vaccine for all of them to be immunized all at once.  As shipments arrive, we are calling on more priority groups.  When there are enough vaccines available, the immunization program will be expanded. Visit Current Eligibility Criteria for the most up-to-date information.


While the virus might spread through the air, the risk of getting COVID-19 is higher if you have close (less than two metres/six feet) and prolonged (more than 10 to 15 minutes) contact with someone who is sick. That’s why those providing direct patient care are prioritized for the vaccine at this time.


Having a vaccine can help prevent COVID-19, protect the health of Manitobans, and limit the strain on our health care system.  All Manitobans must still follow public health fundamentals, even when a vaccine is available, such as staying home when sick, washing your hands and wearing a mask.

More information: 

COVID-19 Prevention (Government of Manitoba)


People who have gotten sick with COVID-19 and have recovered may still benefit from getting the vaccine. Currently there is limited data on the use of COVID-19 vaccines in people who have gotten sick with COVID-19 and recovered.

Because vaccine supplies are limited, the National Advisory Committee on Immunization (NACI) recommends waiting three months before being immunized, even if you have already had a dose of COVID-19 vaccine. Speak with your health care provider about when is the best time for you to get vaccinated.


As is the case with any vaccine, there could be side effects. This happens because the vaccine triggers your immune system to start fighting.  Side effects are generally mild and might include tenderness at the site of the injection, a low fever, aching joints, a headache or lethargy. However, none of these symptoms should last more than a week, or lead to a high fever. If this happens, contact your primary health care provider.

A more serious side effect could be a severe allergic reaction--also known as anaphylaxis. This is more common in people who have existing sensitivities to materials in the vaccine.

If you're concerned about allergies or side effects, talk to your primary health care provider or call Health Links-Info Santé.


There's a small chance of an allergic reaction to a vaccine called anaphylaxis. This rare reaction affects approximately one person in every one million people who take the vaccine. It usually happens shortly after a person is immunized.

Signs of an allergic reaction include:

  • itchy rash,
  • swelling of the face,
  • sudden low blood pressure,
  • abdominal pain and vomiting, or
  • sneezing, coughing and difficulty breathing.

When you’re immunized, you will be asked to stay in the clinic for at least 15 minutes after vaccination, to monitor for unexpected reactions (like anaphylaxis) and deal with them quickly.

Your health care provider will then report the information to their public health department. These reports are tracked and investigated.


If you experience any unusual symptoms after your vaccination appointment, call your primary care provider for further advice.




COVID-19 Vaccine Transportation Coordination Program


The COVID -19 Vaccine Transportation Coordination Program is an initiative that will help connect seniors and others with mobility impairments with local transportation services to help them get to vaccination sites. Seniors can call United Way's 211 MB phone line which will then help identify and connect them to existing handi-transit services and transportation providers across the province The COVID- 19 Vaccine Transportation Coordination Program will be aligned with the current Government of Manitoba vaccination booking system.


United Way's 211 MB is delivering the Vaccine Transportation Coordination Program in partnership with Transportation Opportunities for Seniors (TONS).


The Vaccine Transportation Coordination Program is available to seniors and others with mobility issues, who are in need of a ride to a vaccination site. 211 MB will make every effort to provide referrals to any individual who requests referral for transportation, although calling 211 MB cannot guarantee that the client will receive transportation to the vaccination site. 211 remains open and available 24/7 to any person seeking to be connect to government, health, and social services across the province.


Once an eligible individual has a vaccination appointment booked, including date and time, they can dial 2-1-1 from anywhere in the province to connect with 211 Service Navigators who will assist in providing information about and referral to appropriate transportation provider in your community.



Yes. 211 Manitoba is available in 150 different languages including French.


211 MB will not book rides for clients. 211 MB will be acting as a referral service to the appropriate transportation provider in a client's community.


Yes. 211 MB will provide you with information about the services available, and you can choose which to book. This might include handi-transit, taxis, shuttle services, or other appropriate rides.


The Vaccine Transportation Coordination Program will not be providing free transportation to vaccine sites. This service is being offered to connect seniors and others with mobility issues with transportation providers within their communities. It remains the responsibility of the individual to contact and schedule a ride with the transportation provider in their community once the referral has been made. If additional support to book transportation to a vaccination site is required, this can be discussed with the 211 MB Service Navigator.


In accordance with Manitoba Public Health orders, all transportation providers are required to wear appropriate Personal Protection Equipment during each ride. It is also expected that transportation providers will be cleaning their vehicles regularly to ensure that clients are adequately protected.


211 MB will do everything possible to identify transportation services available for eligible individuals. However, depending on the date and time of your appointment, the distance to your appointment, and the number of transportation services operating in your community, it may not always be possible to connect all callers to 211 MB with a service.


Call your transportation provider directly to let them know.  When your appointment is rebooked, you can call 211 again.

For more information:

211 Manitoba: mb.211.ca
Transportation Options Network for Seniors: tonsmb.org
Manitoba’s immunization campaign: protectmb.ca