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Alberta expands COVID-19 vaccine rollout to include paramedics, emergency responders |FULL

CA, 12 Jan 2021
Alberta will be expanding its list of who is currently eligible to receive the COVID-19 vaccine to include paramedics and emergency responders.

The change to the immunization plan was announced Monday, as part of Premier Jason Kenney’s update on plans to ramp up vaccination efforts, which currently offers the shots to high-risk groups like seniors and staff in designated living, physicians and nurses in ICUs and staff on medical, surgical and COVID-19 units in the province’s hospitals.

Kenney said as of Monday, a total of 46,791 vaccines have been given to Albertans, and he expects to have 50,000 doses given by the end of the day. He said more than three-quarters of the doses sent to Alberta by the federal government have been given out, with an average of 3,800 shots given out each day in January.

The province is well on its way to finishing the campaign to vaccinate seniors in the province’s 398 supported living and long-term care facilities, Kenney said, with the North zone expected to be finished by end of day Monday, and the rest of the province set to finish by Jan. 18.

Kenney said there are three main components to successfully ramping up the province’s vaccine schedule, which he hopes will increase to 50,000 doses per week by the end of the month. Those components include capacity to administer immunizations, a sufficient supply and having willing Albertans lining up to get the shot.

Kenney said he spoke last week with Prime Minister Justin Trudeau, as well as other premiers, about the concerns around dwindling supply of vaccine doses as every province aims to immunize more and more people each day. He said because of the federal government’s exclusive contracts with vaccine suppliers, Alberta isn’t able to independently secure its own supply.

Based on the current schedule, Kenney said Alberta could run out of vaccine doses in roughly a week, but added that concern isn’t slowing the province’s plans.

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