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Irrespective of residency status, Canada assures vaccination to all

According to a spokesperson of University of Manitoba, the process of vaccination will take place irrespective of the residency status of individuals. It is put forth that international and domestic students will be vaccinated without any preferences to the domestic students.

The spokesperson for University of Manitoba cleared the air around the prevailing rumor that domestic students will be preferred for vaccination over international students. Myrrhanda Novak, executive director of public affairs at the U of M completely denied this notion and stated, “We don’t expect that the process for international students to receive the vaccine will be any different than for other students”. She added, “Currently, if you look at the eligibility that the province has posted, it’s just based on age.”

The university has been warranted by the administration that the domestic students would not be discriminated against during the vaccination drive due to their “international status”, affirmed Novak.

“We’ve asked the province to confirm that to us in writing so that we can share it with our international center and post it, but they have confirmed [it] just in conversation”, Novak articulated. Novak said she was told a Manitoba health card is not mandatory or compulsory to get vaccinated.  Additionally, the Public Health Agency of Canada, while giving backing to these statements, has also added that the residence of an individual would not matter for vaccination.

Government and provincial immunization programs rely on the suggestions of the National Advisory Committee on Immunization (NACI). The committee has mandated that international students might be more vulnerable to the catching of the virus due to variables such as international travel and office employment.

In order to take care of this, NACI has directed to use means such as involving trusted community leaders in organizing vaccination efforts to conduct culturally inclusive vaccination drives. Canada has so far validated four different vaccines, including one newly developed vaccine called greenlit Johnson & Johnson and others produced by Pfizer-BioNTech, Moderna and Oxford-AstraZeneca. To date, the Moderna and Pfizer vaccines have been shown to be the most effective, with an average of about 94.1 percent and 95 percent, respectively.

It is recommended for Canadians to get a vaccine administered irrespective of its origins. Provincial authorities recently announced that the students and staff at Manitoba are likely to get their first dose of vaccine in mid-to late May, and by the end of June if there is a delay in shipment. As mentioned earlier, the vaccination drive is based on the age groups, and hence, people aged 18-29 are expected to receive vaccination by the end of August.

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