CANADA All Manitoba children aged 6 months and older can...

All Manitoba children aged 6 months and older can get the COVID-19 vaccine starting Friday.

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Manitoba children must be at least six months old at the time of their appointment, the province said in a statement. (Mary Altaffer/Associated Press)

All children in Manitoba six months and older will be eligible for the COVID-19 vaccine starting Friday morning, the province said.

Previously, only indigenous children and children with certain medical conditions were entitled to receive their photographs.

The announcement says that parents and guardians can start making appointments for new eligible children at 9 a.m. Children must be at least six months old at the time of appointment.

Health Canada approved Moderna’s two-dose vaccine for children aged six months to four years in July.

So far, Manitoba has received 14,900 doses, the report said. More than 3,700 of these have been sent to regional vaccination centers and medical clinics, and another 2,100 to indigenous health authorities for distribution to their communities.

Vaccine supplies remain limited, but a second batch of 28,800 doses of Moderna is expected to arrive soon. The press release says the shipment has been delayed and will be the last that Manitoba will receive.

Manitoba has about 76,700 children under the age of five, provincial health officer Dr. Brent Roussin said last month.

Since the vaccine requires two shots, the province said it will reserve about half of its supply to ensure there is enough for second doses and provide the best protection against COVID-19 for children in this age group.

Health Canada is also considering an age group vaccine from Pfizer. If approved, more vaccines will be available in the fall, the province said.

The National Immunization Advisory Committee recommends that children aged six months to four years receive the COVID-19 vaccine at least two weeks before or after any other vaccines to better track side effects, the province said in a statement.

Manitoba’s approach is the same, although children who receive a different vaccine within 14 days of being given a COVID-19 vaccine will not be denied, the report said.

Parents and guardians can make an appointment directly with medical clinics, through online search for vaccines or through the free vaccine call center at 1-844-626-8222. Vaccinations are currently available at regional vaccination centers, health facilities and medical clinics.

People who need to make multiple appointments at the same time should use a phone line, provincial officials said.

Since most immunization data are not reported in real time, limited information is available on how many doses were given to children in this age group.

More updated information on vaccinating the youngest children in Manitoba will be provided when available, the province said.

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