As Manitoba’s first-dose vaccination rate continues to grow, additional efforts are being taken to address vaccine hesitancy and access to ensure Manitoba is able to aim high and reach its provincial vaccination goals, Premier Brian Pallister announced today.
“I want to commend the hundreds of thousands of Manitobans who have participated in our vaccine efforts thus far. Thank you for your willingness and excitement to roll up your sleeve for the first available vaccine and for doing your part to protect Manitobans,” said Pallister. “As a government we are we are doing everything we can to ensure Manitobans have the information and support they need to make the right decisions to protect themselves, their loved ones and their community.”
This new phase of vaccination promotion and delivery will include four key initiatives:
• the ProtectMB Community Outreach and Incentive Grants, funding for local organizations, groups, businesses in the province that work with and in vaccine-hesitant communities to improve uptake;
• an expanded ProtectMB advertising campaign to encourage Manitobans to ‘take their seats’ by getting vaccinated so they can enjoy the activities and spaces that Manitobans have missed and that vaccination will allow everyone to enjoy once more;
• creating a ProtectMB Campaign Advisory Committee co-chaired by Cynthia Carr and Dayna Spiring that is providing advice to government on encouraging vaccination uptake and reopening safely;
• expanded vaccine access through clinics, pop-ups and pharmacies to make it easier than ever to choose vaccination.
“We know from research and clinical leadership that there are thousands of Manitobans who are open to vaccination, but they need support from people they know and trust to make that decision to roll up their sleeve and get the shot,” Pallister added. “Whether it is soccer leagues calling parents, neighbourhood organizations knocking on doors or ethno-cultural groups holding a vaccine clinic with food and music, we are ready to support and encourage community-based efforts to protect Manitoba through vaccination.”
The ProtectMB Campaign Advisory Committee will guide these initiatives, help shape Manitoba’s reopening plan, and promote vaccination within their networks and communities. The committee includes leaders and influencers from business, community and the non-profit sector.
“I'm excited to work with leaders from across the province to guide this last phase of our vaccination effort,” said Spiring, co-chair of the ProtectMB Campaign Advisory Committee, and president and CEO of Economic Development Winnipeg. “If we want to get back to business, get back to the things we love, we need to work hard to get every Manitoban vaccinated. I know with creativity and partnership, we will reach the record levels of vaccine uptake we need to reopen Manitoba.”
“We are in a race between the virus and vaccination,” said Carr, co-chair of the ProtectMB Campaign Advisory Committee and epidemiologist. “The faster Manitobans are vaccinated, the lower the risk of high case numbers and variant spread. This phase is critical. If you have not gotten vaccinated, you matter and speed matters. We are committed to working with all Manitobans to get vaccinated, so we can reopen our province and thrive.”
The ProtectMB Community Outreach and Incentive Grants will offer funding of up to $20,000 to Manitoba organizations, businesses, churches and others who work in and with low-uptake communities. Applicants will be required to attend an information session on vaccine uptake and hesitancy, and submit a simple proposal on their approach to addressing low uptake in their community. Staffing, outreach, food and other activities will be eligible for funding. Interested organizations can register for an information session at www.ProtectMB.ca.
Sample ads from the new ProtectMB advertising campaign are also available on www.ProtectMB.ca, and details on upcoming pop-ups and localized vaccine delivery strategies will be shared at future vaccine briefings.
“Manitobans have told us that getting back to the things they love is one of the biggest incentives to getting vaccinated and we’re going to reinforce that through this public awareness campaign,” Pallister added.
For up-to-date information on COVID-19 in Manitoba, visit www.manitoba.ca/COVID19.