Manitoba’s vaccine booking link and phone lines will go live at 6 a.m. Monday, as the province opens up space for kids aged five to 11 to get a COVID-19 vaccine on the heels of Health Canada approving Pfizer.
Winnipeg mom Annemarie Plenert says she’s breathing a sigh of relief.
“We’re just so looking forward to be able to relax and breathe a little bit and be less of a risk to other people,” Plenert says.
Plenert has three kids. Her oldest is 12 and was eager to get vaccinated, even booking their shot for their birthday as a present. But her younger children are nine and seven years old. She says they’ve been keeping a close eye on the approval process.
“They are super pumped to be vaccinated and protected because they found COVID very stressful. They do know what’s going on.”
She says her family can now breathe a sigh of relief.
“I was really relieved when my husband got vaccinated, I was really relieved when my eldest got vaccinated and now I’m just so looking forward to having the other two protected,” she says.
"Logged in ahead of time…. then 6 am hit and the screen went blank."
Manitoba parents were able to book COVID-19 vaccine appointments for kids 5-11 as of this morning.
We caught up with @tmnklassen to chat about the internet scramble, and why it's important to her family. pic.twitter.com/obkTE2XmD2
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“My middle kid is special needs with a slightly higher risk profile, which makes a difference as well, and we also have family members who are very high risk so we have been extra cautious.”
From cancelled Christmas concerts to abnormal lunch hours at school, Plenert says for her kids, vaccines mean a step closer to normalcy.
“The opportunity to have those really exciting perks of being a school-aged kid come back. That’s thrilling to them,” says Plenert.
Manitoba pharmacists prepare for Monday
Ken Humeniek, a pharmacist in Winnipeg who owns three locations across the city, said when he learned of Health Canada’s approval, his phones started ringing off the hook.
“I’m hearing, ‘Here’s my child’s name, please call me immediately when I can get this injection for my child,'” Humeniek said.
He decided to create a wait-list for when the vaccines do make it to his stores.
“Boy, did I get a hundred phone calls (Friday). I have about 104 children signed up on a call list waiting for the vaccine.”
The Health Canada approval is welcome news for more than just his professional life.
“Personally, as a father and as a pharmacist, I’ve been waiting to vaccinate younger people because that is a huge segment of our population that has gone unvaccinated.”
To book a COVID-19 vaccine, parents can make an appointment by calling 1-844-626-8222 or through the province’s website starting at 6 a.m. Nov. 22.
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