Alberta ramps up COVID-19 vaccinations, paramedics on priority list for shots

Henrietta Brewer
January 13, 2021

On Monday, the province also expanded eligibility for the COVID-19 vaccine to include Alberta's paramedics and emergency medical technicians (EMTs).

Kenney says nearly 47,000 doses have been administered to front-line health and intensive care workers - including doctors and nurses - and to residents in long-term care homes and supportive living facilities.

Kenney says, at the current rate, the province will run out of the current vaccination shipment some time next week. Previously, these health professions were not included in the first phase of the COVID-19 vaccine distribution. Albertans desperately needed good news.

She noted Alberta Health Services continues to prioritize contact tracing for other cases involving minors and for those living and working in continuing care or other congregate facilities.

"What we have seen so far is consistent with what was reported in the vaccine trials".

Chief Medical Officer of Health Dr. Deena Hinshaw spoke the day before to report the province's daily case count, announce it would delay administering the second dose of the vaccine when possible to offer the first dose to more Albertans, and confirm her teams had found six cases of the COVID-19 variants first identified in South Africa and the United Kingdom.

Lacombe County has 30 active cases, down one, and the city of Lacombe has 34, down three. Twenty-one more people are no longer testing positive, bringing the total number of those recovered to 1,521 people.

Thirty-eight more Albertans have died from the disease.

Alberta set another record high for deaths related to COVID-19 reported in a single day, as 38 more people have lost their lives after battling the virus.

The latest update, released Tuesday, reported 13,220 active cases across the province. Of those, 130 people are receiving treatment in ICU.

Pfizer and Moderna studies have shown the effectiveness of the first shot is approximately 90 per cent two weeks after being administered.

Both the World Health Organization and the National Advisory Committee on Immunization in Canada have said the 42-day interval could be considered when vaccine supply is short, Hinshaw said.

"With more contact tracers and fewer cases, we are reducing the number of cases with unknown exposures".

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