First COVID-19 immunizations to start next week
Alberta will deliver the first COVID-19 vaccines to critical health-care workers next week.
The first 3,900 doses of Pfizer vaccine will arrive in Alberta during the week of Dec. 14. The vaccine has now been approved by Health Canada. Immunization of seniors and other target groups is anticipated to start in early 2021.
The initial shipments of the vaccines must be administered on-site at dedicated vaccine sites, and cannot be transported to long-term care or other facilities. This is why the first immunizations will focus on health-care workers crucial to supporting vulnerable Albertans and caring for critically ill patients.
Alberta Health Services will begin booking appointments with intensive care unit health-care workers, respiratory therapists and long-term care workers eligible to be immunized. Eligibility will begin with workers at the highest risk facilities.
“Alberta is ready to begin delivering this vaccine quickly and safely. We are focusing first on workers who are crucial to protecting Albertans and will start immunizing residents in long-term care, seniors and others in the weeks ahead as soon as the vaccine can be transported off-site.”Tyler Shandro, Minister of Health
In January, we will continue to offer vaccine to eligible groups of health-care workers, including staff at long-term care and designated supportive living facilities in order to protect vulnerable Albertans. Residents of these facilities will begin to receive vaccine as soon as it can be transported from the depots to off-site vaccination locations.
Ultra-cold freezers needed for Pfizer vaccines are now installed at eight locations across Alberta.
In addition to the groups mentioned above, also in Phase 1 of Alberta’s vaccine strategy are seniors aged 75 and older, on-reserve First Nations individuals and on-settlement Metis individuals age 65 and older, and health-care workers who are most likely to transmit COVID-19 to those at greatest risk and who are critical for maintaining hospital capacity.
Phase 2 is still expected to begin by April 2021 and will again be targeted to the next groups of prioritized populations. Final decisions regarding eligibility in Phase 2 have not yet been determined. Phase 3 will involve rolling out vaccinations to the general Alberta population, anticipated to start later in 2021.
Additional details will be announced when Phase 1 begins in early January.
- Alberta has worked closely with the federal government and other provinces and territories to procure COVID-19 vaccines since the pandemic began.
- The Pfizer vaccine is currently the only vaccine approved for use by Health Canada.
- Exact timelines and details for Phase 1 are still being determined.
- Additional shipments of vaccine are expected later in 2021 as global production increases.Related news