Peg shines light on COVID-19 infections and vaccine decisions

On April 23 the Province of Manitoba prioritized vaccinations for people who live or work in Winnipeg’s Downtown East, Inkster East and Point Douglas South neighbourhoods.

“These communities were selected based on an analysis of COVID-19 rates, population density, percentages of racialized populations, income levels and housing suitability in those areas,” said Dr. Joss Reimer, medical lead, Vaccine Implementation Task Force.

Since then, the province has added several more Winnipeg neighbourhoods to its community-based vaccine eligibility list, including Inkster West, Fort Garry South, Point Douglas North, Downtown West and Seven Oaks West as of April 30.

Neighbourhoods made eligible for vaccines by the Province of Manitoba on April 23.


The decision followed a March report released by the province highlighting that people of colour have seen disproportionate rates of COVID-19 infections. 51 per cent of people who tested positive during the report period self-identified as BIPOC (black, Indigenous, people of colour), even though only 35 per cent of Manitoba’s population is BIPOC. We know some BIPOC communities in other cities are also facing higher COVID-19 infection rates, including Toronto, Hamilton and Vancouver.

Peg is a tool for neighbourhood-level COVID-19 analysis 

Peg, Winnipeg’s interactive online community indicator system, can contribute to this real-world analysis of factors affecting critical decisions around the COVID-19 response in Winnipeg. Peg indicators segmented by neighbourhood—including dwelling condition, median household income, children in care, personal safety, high school graduation rates and substance abuse and addiction—can help government and non-profit organizations predict and prioritize responses and service distribution throughout our city to support those most at risk.

A diagram depicting Peg data for the indicator Personal Safety.

Peg’s Personal Safety indicator shows a higher level of crime in neighbourhoods that overlap the province’s vaccine eligibility announcement.

Using Peg to put COVID-19 data into context

Upon the release of the province’s report showing BIPOC communities are more at risk of infection, Dr. Brent Roussin, Manitoba’s chief provincial public health officer, stressed the importance of looking at data and factors affecting communities beyond the control of individuals.

“It’s important to note that this is not about the people in these communities making bad choices or people not following public health guidance,” Dr. Roussin told CTV News. “We need to look at this data in the context of many factors, such as occupation, income, housing adequacy, to understand how race influences the effects of COVID-19.”

Peg indicators to watch as our COVID-19 story unfolds

The latest Peg report, 2020 Our City: A Peg Report on COVID-19 and Well-Being Indicators to Watch, supports what Dr. Roussin encourages us to do as a city. The report provides a snapshot of 14 out of over 55 Peg data indicators that may reflect longer term impacts that COVID-19 will have on our city and the communities most affected. These indicators benchmark where we were at pre-2020 before the pandemic hit. As our COVID-19 story unfolds, Peg data will allow decision-makers in our city to look at the changing factors that combine with our knowledge of demographics around race, ethnicity and indigeneity within neighbourhoods and target responses to best serve all Winnipeggers.

The latest Peg report.

Peg: marrying local and global goals for sustainable development

As is the case with all Peg indicators online, analysis presented in the 2020 report is aligned with the United Nations Sustainable Development Goals (SDGs). Aligning local Peg data with The SDGs can help us understand how we’re doing compared to communities around the world and keep our focus on moving towards local goals for our local community including No Poverty and Good Health and Well-Being.

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