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Vaccine rollout for seniors 75 and up announced

"Exciting day for these Albertans ..." says Premier Jason Kenney
LAKELAND - Beginning today, Alberta rolled out vaccine to seniors aged 75 and up. The first in line are all residents living in retirement centres, lodges, supportive living and other congregate living facilities. On Feb. 24, seniors 75 or older living in the community are next in line for vaccine. However, the plan hinges on vaccine supply.

“The lack of vaccine supply has held us back but with more vaccine doses starting to trickle in and finally some clarity from the federal government on how many shipments will arrive and when, we are now ready to expand vaccinations to all seniors aged 75 years of age and older throughout Alberta,” Premier Jason Kenney said earlier this afternoon, appearing confident the province will have the vaccine it needs to follow through on phase 1 of the vaccine rollout.

Alberta Health Services was to start contacting facilities today to arrange appointments for immunization services.

As of next Wednesday, any Albertan born in 1946 or earlier will be eligible to book an appointment through AHS using an online and telephone booking system. Details on how to book – by phone or online – will be released on Feb. 24. Appointment availability will be based on vaccine supply.

“This is an exciting day for these Albertans, and the thousands of family members and friends who love them. We are starting with those most at risk and moving quickly to provide the protection that they deserve. Alberta’s vaccine distribution system is the finest in Canada, and we will continue immunizing Albertans as quickly and safely as possible,” Kenney said.

Second doses of vaccine have been provided to 29,233 residents in long term care and designated supportive living facilities in the province.

Phase 2 of the rollout, covering 1.4 million Albertans, is expected to get underway in April and will be offered in a staged approach to anyone aged 50 to 74 years of age, anyone with an underlying health condition, First Nation and Métis people aged 35 and older and residents and staff living in congregate living settings and eligible caregivers.

“This is dependent on how much supply and how many doses we get out of Ottawa,” Kenney explained.

The first group up in the Phase 2 rollout will include Albertans aged 65 to 74 years of age and First Nations and Métis aged 50 to 64.

Prime Minister Justin Trudeau announced earlier in the week that Canada would have enough doses of the Pfizer and Moderna vaccines to fully vaccinate 14.5 million Canadians by June.

Clare Gauvreau

About the Author: Clare Gauvreau

Clare Gauvreau has worked for the St. Paul Journal for more than 20 years as a journalist, editor and publisher. In her role today as newspaper publisher she continues to contribute news and feature articles on a regular basis.
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