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CBC: Efforts to get information about vaccines to young adults underway as Manitoba COVID-19 cases surge

May 7, 2021 — 

CBC Manitoba reports:

As COVID-19 cases rise and more infectious coronavirus variants spread, Manitoba health officials say they’re trying to get a first dose of a COVID-19 vaccine into as many arms as possible as quickly as possible. 

Eligibility to get a vaccine has expanded to include many as young as 18, and now some are looking for ways to make sure younger adults are getting the message about the importance of getting vaccinated. 

“I think what we should be focusing on is quality, credible information,” said Dr. Marcia Anderson, who helps lead the Manitoba First Nations pandemic response team. 

Since the start of the pandemic, Anderson has seen a higher rate of more severe outcomes due to COVID-19 in First Nations people and that includes those in younger age groups, she said. More infectious variants are also leading to younger people getting sicker. 

“All along we’ve talked about how we need to protect our loved ones, to protect our elders, to work together to protect our communities,” Anderson said. “As we see this age shift and as we see more [variants of concern] … it’s also about our young adults and our young people who need to get the vaccine to protect themselves.”

On Monday, Anderson announced all Indigenous people 18 and up in Manitoba are now eligible for a COVID-19 vaccine.

Now, it’s about getting the word out.

She points to younger people connecting through social media, such as the new campaign, Protect our People MB, as one of the ways to do that….People 18 and older who live or work in certain jobs in COVID-19 hotspots in Manitoba are also eligible to get vaccinated.

The province said Wednesday it expects all adults to be able to book a COVID-19 vaccine by May 21. 

University of Manitoba student president Brendan Scott said he first saw that news shared by other students on social media…The University of Manitoba Students’ Union plans to use social media, their podcast and their newsletter, which reaches roughly 24,000 undergrad students, to pump out information and facts about COVID-19 vaccines to students as part of a campaign next month…

Tracie Afifi, a professor in the department of community health sciences at the University of Manitoba, advises people  to focus on three main targets when talking to younger people about vaccines: safety, how they work, and why it’s important to protect yourself against infection. 

Read the full CBC story online.

 

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