Provincial Press Release January 5, 2020 @ 3:47pm published at 5:46pm
Vaccines are being administered across the province, with 56.9 per cent of vaccines received to date already given to Albertans.
As of Jan. 4, 26,269 doses of vaccine have been given to health-care workers and residents of continuing care facilities. At more than 56 per cent of vaccine doses in stock administered, Alberta is 61 per cent above the national average.
Alberta’s phased approach to vaccination focuses first on priority health-care workers and those who are at highest risk of severe outcomes. Eligibility will continue to expand as more vaccine arrives in the province and more doses are administered to those most at risk. Alberta Health Services is using several strategies to ensure timely vaccination of health-care workers, including the launch of an online appointment booking tool, expanding vaccination clinics and appointment availability, and actively recruiting additional staff to join the team of vaccinators. This is in addition to working with continuing care operators to vaccinate staff and residents on-site.
“We will continue to ramp-up vaccination across the province. What we accomplished in December with the early shipments was just the beginning – we will see thousands more vaccine doses administered weekly, bringing us closer to the next phases where even more Albertans will be eligible to be vaccinated.” Tyler Shandro, Minister of Health
“We know that the more Albertans we can vaccinate, the better, but we must not lose sight of the importance of sequencing our efforts to ensure the most vulnerable among us are offered vaccine first. Until it’s our turn, we must remain vigilant and adhere to all public health measures.” Dr. Deena Hinshaw, chief medical officer of health
Phase 1 of Alberta’s vaccination roll out started on Dec. 15, with an initial shipment of 3,900 Pfizer doses. A second shipment of 25,350 Pfizer doses arrived on Dec. 22. Phase 1 focuses on respiratory therapists, intensive care physicians and staff, and long-term care and designated supportive living facility staff across Alberta. Vaccination expanded to residents of long-term care and designated supportive living facilities on Dec. 30, once vaccine could be safely transported to these facilities.
Starting this week, Phase 1A will include vaccination of health-care workers in home care and emergency departments. In February, as part of Phase 1B, vaccination will be expanded to seniors aged 75 and over and residents aged 65 and over in First Nations reserve communities and Metis settlements, and health-care workers in medical, surgical and COVID-19 units or operating rooms.
Phase 2 is still expected to start by April 2021. Final decisions regarding the sequencing of populations to receive the vaccine in Phase 2 have not yet been determined. Phase 3 will involve rolling out vaccinations to the general Alberta population, and is anticipated to start later in 2021.
Alberta’s government is responding to the COVID-19 pandemic by protecting lives and livelihoods with precise measures to bend the curve, sustain small businesses and protect Alberta’s health-care system.
The Pfizer vaccine was approved on Dec. 9.
The Moderna vaccine was approved on Dec. 23.