WINNIPEG (TREATY 1) - With Alberta today joining other provinces and territories in expanding access to a fourth dose of vaccine those 18 years of age and older, the Manitoba Health Coalition (MHC) called on the Stefanson PC government  today to recognize the dangers posed by a seventh wave of the COVID-19 pandemic and provide Manitobans with the same opportunity to protect themselves and others.

“Manitoba has had some of the worst outcomes in Canada as a result of cuts to health care prior to the arrival of COVID-19 and poor decision-making throughout the course of the pandemic," said Thomas Linner, Provincial Director of the MHC. “Families, frontline health care workers and vulnerable Manitobans cannot wait while this government to drag its feet yet again.”

Many Manitobans, including frontline workers and immunocompromised people, have passed the sixth-month mark since their last dose of vaccine. They are concerned about the growing seventh wave and are looking for the added protection a booster could bring. 

Vaccines are not the only tool in the fight against another wave of COVID-19 variants. In addition to calling on the Stefanson government to expand access to a fourth dose, MHC continues to call for:

  • Regular COVID-19 updates for the public and media
  • Updated modelling on the potential path of variants in Manitoba
  • The re-establishment of PCR testing capacity
  • Clear benchmarks for what level of transmission and/or hospitalization would trigger a resumption of indoor mask mandates, vaccine passports and other measures
  • Establishing 10-paid sick days per year for Manitoba workers
  • An expanded push for vaccination at all levels, from first dose to booster shots
  • Urgent action to address the understaffing in our health care system 

“The challenges facing Manitoba’s health care system are daunting,” said Linner. “Emergency rooms in Winnipeg are stretched beyond capacity. Rural and northern ERs are struggling to stay open and often unable to do so. An unchecked wave of COVID-19 could push everything past the brink. It’s past time to act.”