Manitoba effectively managed COVID-19 vaccine rollout, but better tools and practices would have assisted efforts

Press Release

April 26, 2023

WINNIPEG – The Government of Manitoba effectively managed the rollout of COVID-19 vaccines, but these efforts would have been assisted by having better tools and practices in place, says Auditor General Tyson Shtykalo, who today released his report, Manitoba’s Rollout of the COVID-19 Vaccines.

“I would like to acknowledge the extraordinary efforts of public servants and service delivery providers during the vaccine rollout,” Shtykalo said. “The successes Manitoba achieved are linked to these efforts. Looking ahead, there are opportunities to learn from the rollout, and prepare for the next large-scale public health emergency.”

The Auditor General said it’s imperative that the government conduct lessons-learned exercises. “This will be essential in addressing gaps in emergency preparedness exposed by the pandemic,” Shtykalo said. These gaps include a lack of clear roles and responsibilities between and within Manitoba Health, Shared Health, the regional health authorities, and other groups and organizations involved in the vaccine rollout.

Additionally, the lessons-learned exercises would capture best practices and innovations that can be implemented during regular operations, he said.

The Auditor General noted that paper-based methods were sometimes used during the vaccine rollout to collect consent and immunization data. “This resulted in hundreds of thousands of paper forms being generated, which had to be manually inputted into electronic systems,” Shtykalo said. A more robust electronic system would have reduced the risks associated with using paper-based methods. These risks include incomplete and inaccurate data being recorded. Paper forms also needed to be securely stored according to appropriate document retention standards., which required additional resources.

The report contains 3 recommendations that address findings from the COVID vaccine rollout.

To view the report, visit: https://www.oag.mb.ca/reports

To view the video, visit: https://youtu.be/sjSkXip5Jq0

NOTE: A version of the video without music and graphics can be provided to media upon request.

About the Auditor General of Manitoba

The Auditor General is an officer of the Legislative Assembly mandated to provide independent assurance and advice to Members of the Legislative Assembly. Through its audits, the Office of the Auditor General seeks to identify opportunities to strengthen government operations and enhance performance management and reporting. For more information visit https://www.oag.mb.ca/

For more information contact:

Frank Landry, Communications Manager
204.792.9145
[email protected]

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