First Alberta health-care workers get COVID-19 vaccine

Provincial Press Release December 15, 2020 @ 4:30pm published at 5:26pm


Health-care workers in Edmonton and Calgary are the first Albertans to be immunized against COVID-19.


Sahra Kaahiye, a respiratory therapist at the Glenrose Rehabilitation Hospital in Edmonton, and Tanya Harvey, an intensive care nurse at the Foothills Medical Centre Cell in Calgary, were the first to receive the COVID-19 vaccine.

“Yesterday, I was on-site to see the first vaccine doses arrive in Alberta – now, about 24 hours later, we’re already administering the vaccine to front-line, critical health-care workers. The speed and efficiency shown in coming together to make this happen is remarkable. We will not stop our efforts until everyone who wants a vaccination gets one.” Jason Kenney, Premier

“Today is the day we begin to turn the tide of the pandemic. These first immunizations are a testament to all the hard work that’s been done, and continues to be done, to bring the vaccine to Albertans so we can protect our most vulnerable and save lives.” Tyler Shandro, Minister of Health

“I am grateful to be one of the first health-care workers in Alberta to receive the COVID-19 vaccine. I am from the Somali community and I want to set an example for my community. In Alberta, we have been battling vaccine misinformation for years and uptake is especially challenging in marginalized communities. The availability of a COVID-19 vaccine is great news for us. It will help us and it will protect us.” Sahra Kaahiye, respiratory therapist at the University of Alberta Hospital, CapitalCare Norwood, and Glenrose Rehabilitation Hospital

“I am the biggest risk to my family and I cannot put my parents, or my husband’s parents, at risk. It isn’t easy for everyone to understand what it is like on the front lines – it’s a blessing that most people aren’t in a position to see what front-line workers see on a daily basis. As Canadians, we are so privileged to have universal health care and we need to help each other, and promote health for one another. Please take your responsibility seriously and get your vaccine when your time comes.” Tanya Harvey, intensive care unit nurse at Foothills Medical Centre Cell

The Pfizer vaccine must be administered at its delivery site and is being offered to respiratory therapists, intensive care unit physicians and staff, and eligible long-term care and designated supportive living workers.

As more shipments arrive in early January, immunization will focus on Phase 1 priority populations and will include residents of long-term care and designated supportive living facilities, followed by seniors aged 75 and over, and First Nations on reserve, Inuit and on-settlement Métis individuals aged 65 and over.

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.

Quick facts

  • Alberta’s first shipment of 3,900 Pfizer vaccine doses arrived in Alberta on Dec. 14.

  • The initial 3,900 doses will be offered to priority health-care workers at two vaccine sites – one in Edmonton and one in Calgary.

  • A further 25,350 Pfizer vaccine doses are expected to arrive in Alberta on Dec. 21


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