Southern Health districts of Stanley, Winkler and Hanover have reported very low vaccine rates. Public health officials say that people in these communities can get a vaccine with ease, so lack of access is not a factor in the low vaccine uptake rates there. The three health districts with the lowest percentages of people who have received at least one dose are all in the Southern Health region.
Those health districts are:
Stanley, which surrounds Morden and Winkler (6.1 percent).
Winkler (13.6 percent).
Hanover, which is south and east of Steinbach (14.9 percent)
Dr. Joss Reimer, medical lead on Manitoba’s vaccine implementation task force, believes that there is no barrier that prevents people from getting a shot.
Dr. Reimer added:
“We don’t see a barrier to access being a major issue for these communities because they do have the [vaccination] supersite in Morden.”
Reimer also stated that the areas that are seeing lower vaccination numbers were hesitant to take annual flu vaccinations and childhood immunizations, so it is not surprising to see them refusing to take the COVID-19 vaccine as well. Dr. Reimer said that the COVID-19 vaccine and child immunizations are not the same things:
“Right now, it’s quite a bit more urgent than it has been in the past, because we want to protect the members of our community that live in Stanley, in Winkler, in Hanover. We don’t want to see ongoing illness and hospitalization and death in those communities.”
Morden Mayor Brandon Burley added:
“We want to create a bridge for people to come over and recognize that we can pull the same weight, and this chasm that has divided our communities and has torn us apart can in fact be crossed. It’s going to take a lot of groundwork, but I think it can be done.”