The Prime Minister said the first shipment of COVID-19 vaccine from Alberta is arriving in Calgary

The Prime Minister said the first shipment of COVID-19 vaccine from Alberta is arriving in Calgary

Edmonton – Alberta Prime Minister Jason Kenny said the first doses of the COVID-19 vaccine in the province have arrived.

Edmonton – Alberta Prime Minister Jason Kenny said the first doses of the COVID-19 vaccine in the province have arrived.

Kenny announced in a video posted late Monday, which showed him standing next to a cargo plane at Calgary International Airport just after sunset and wearing a UPS reflective jacket.

Kenny said, “We have just seen UPS empty the first 3,900 doses of the Pfizer COVID-19 vaccine,” describing it as a “game-changer.”

He added: “We hope to get the first dose of the vaccine in Albertan within the next 24 hours,” noting that the intensive care nurses are in queues to be the first to receive the vaccine.

“This is a happy day after these difficult nine months, to show that there really is a light here.”

Earlier in the day, Alberta’s health minister said another 25,000 doses were coming next week.

“The next few weeks will be the toughest yet, but relief is on the way, and it’s starting this week,” Tyler Chandro said during a virtual press conference earlier on Monday.

“We will be giving the first dose of the vaccine to 29,000 healthcare professionals by the end of December.”

Chandro indicated that the first shipments should be distributed at the point of arrival, so that they cannot be transported to treat residents in long-term care homes, who were particularly vulnerable to infection with the new Coronavirus.

He said: “With this strategy, we will directly protect those who provide care and will also start to indirectly protect patients by reducing the risk of transmission from staff.”

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Chandro said unspecified quantities of Moderna vaccine, which still need Health Canada approval, are expected by the end of December.

He said, “We get these vaccines out as quickly as possible for humans.”

“But I must emphasize that this is a process that will take months.”

Alberta plans to vaccinate the most at-risk group first, including health care workers, care home residents, and the elderly.

The remaining population will be vaccinated in two stages throughout the spring and summer, as more doses become available.

Both Pfizer and Moderna require two shots at a two-week interval to be effective.

Last week, Kenny announced tighter restrictions on public health to choke off numerous community contact points. Museums, gyms, hair salons, spas, and casinos are closed starting Sunday. Retail business capacity is limited to 15 percent, restaurants and bars for takeout and delivery.

Indoor or outdoor gatherings are not permitted, although people can ski, walk, or do other fitness activities as long as they maintain a physical distance.

Alberta has been leading the country in infection rates recently. The number of daily cases was in excess of 1,000 for about a month. On Monday, Dr. Dina Henshaw, chief medical officer for health, reported a new daily high of 1,887 cases.

There were 716 people in hospital, 136 of them in intensive care. There were 15 more deaths, bringing the total in the county to 734.

New retail restrictions that took effect Sunday led to reports and photos on social media of crowded parking lots and crowded malls.

“Shopping malls should adhere to 15 percent of maximum capacity,” Henshaw said. “This will include everyone who has been inside the mall, in both public areas and stores.”

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She said that officials will follow up the matter with the owners of shops and commercial centers, noting that the province has increased the number of peace officers who are able to hand out tickets for health violations.

Last week, the United Conservative government announced an additional $ 500 million in subsidies for businesses affected by the shutdown.

The opposition National Democratic Party said more help is needed in bridging to workers who find themselves laid off due to the recent changes. NDP labor critic Christina Gray urged the county to suddenly give unemployed workers $ 1,000 each to counter until employment insurance begins or other federal aid for COVID-19 intervenes.

“Instead of being able to spend some money on gifts this holiday season, many Alberta people will try to keep a roof over their heads and food on their table,” Gray said. “Now people don’t have weeks (to wait).

“They need help right away.”

This report was first published by The Canadian Press on December 14, 2020.

Dean Bennett, The Canadian Press

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