Immunizations started, but not in Slave Lake yet

Pearl Lorentzen
Lakeside Leader

Immunizations have started in Alberta, but will take a while to reach Slave Lake and other rural and remote areas. Also, immunizations will be administered in phases starting with some healthcare workers.

Starting on Dec. 30, immunizations of seniors in long-term care and supportive living began in Alberta, says a Dec. 29 Alberta government news release. The first round will be in Calgary, St. Paul, Medicine Hat, Lethbridge, Grande Prairie, Red Deer, and Edmonton. Also, to residents in these type of facilities on six First Nations reserves. There will also be some sent out to rural and remote residents, as this new type of vaccine is more mobile that the one that was already in use.

“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,” says a Dec. 14 Alberta government news release. The reason is that the Pfizer vaccine requires ultra-cold freezers, which are installed in eight locations in Alberta.

As of Dec. 28, 6,016 doses of COVID vaccine had been given in Alberta, says the Alberta government’s COVID-19 update. The second shipment was being given to healthcare and long-term care workers.

On Dec. 15, a respiratory therapist and intensive care nurse were the first Albertans to get the COVID-19 vaccine, says a Dec. 15 Alberta government news release. They are in Edmonton and Calgary.

An Alberta government news release says, “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.”

The news release adds, Phase 2 is expected to start in April 2021. It will target the next priority group, which hasn’t been decided yet. Phase 3 is for the general population which is expected later in 2021.

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