Manitoba Health announced on Wednesday that it is expanding eligibility for those wishing to receive the bivalent COVID-19 vaccine.

Beginning Thursday at 9 am, anyone 18 years of age and older can begin booking appointments using the online booking tool, by contacting the vaccine call centre or by contacting medical clinics and pharmacies directly. Vaccine appointments are also available at the recently opened vaccine clinic on Notre Dame Avenue in Winnipeg.

The bivalent vaccine has been developed to provide protection against two strains of COVID-19: the original strain of the virus and the omicron variant. Public health recommends that adults who are due for a booster get the bivalent vaccine, as it provides additional protection from omicron variants of COVID-19. 

Manitoba Health recommends that people wait six months from their last dose to get their bivalent booster vaccine. However, the minimum interval between a person's last dose and their booster is three months.

As of Monday, 3,216 doses of bivalent vaccine have been administered in Manitoba and entered in the provincial immunization database. Additionally, immunizations at personal care homes and other congregate living facilities are underway, and the health-care system is leading vaccine clinics for staff. Manitoba has also made an initial shipment of 9,800 doses of bivalent vaccine for First Nation communities to launch immunization campaigns.