The delivery of the COVID-19 Vaxport program in the City of Thompson is beginning to take shape, and the City of Thompson is proud to be working with the Province of Manitoba and our regional partners to ensure the program’s delivery meets the needs of Thompsonites and northern Manitobans as a whole.
The City of Thompson has been engaged with the Province since the Vaxport site was announced on January 5, 2021 in order to ensure the roll-out plans best serve Thompson and northern Manitoba.
Mayor Colleen Smook notes that changes and adjustments will always be a part of charting new and unknown territory, and the City of Thompson had, and continues to have, ample opportunity to provide input.
“We’re disappointed that provincial media has portrayed our relationship with the province as terse and oppositional,” said Mayor Smook. “We’ve kept close contact with our provincial ministries since day one of the pandemic to ensure northern voices are heard, and that relationship hasn’t changed. We suggested improvements to the delivery of Vaxport in Thompson, and the Province listened.”
The Vaxport program will utilize the Thompson Regional Community Center and the Thompson Regional Airport to distribute doses of the Pfizer vaccine to local patients as well as those from remote outlying communities, respectively.
The airport is being utilized as doses of the Moderna vaccine are limited, and the Pfizer vaccine cannot be easily transported and stored at remote locations. Patients from remote communities will need to be transported to receive the vaccine in a more accessible location, and delivering the vaccine directly at the airport minimizes exposure across communities.
The TRCC, closed under Critical status restrictions, provides an accessible location for pedestrians, motorists, and public-transit users, as well as ample room for safe social distancing. It is also a well-known facility for locals and visitors, and easily accessible for intercity transport by land.
Thompson was selected for the Vaxport program as recognized northern hub for healthcare and transportation that is equipped to receive air and ground traffic from across northern Manitoba. “Thompson has been a medical hub for northern Manitobans for more than three decades,” said Mayor Smook. “We understand the challenges of the north, and we’re well-equipped to meet them.”
The Vaxport program is expected to open in Thompson on February 1.