Alberta’s chief medical officer of health, Dr. Deena Hinshaw, updates media on the COVID-19 situation in Edmonton, Friday, March 20, 2020. Hinshaw says residents in long-term care and supportive living facilities will remain the priority as the province grapples with a looming slowdown in COVID-19 vaccine supply. THE CANADIAN PRESS/Jason Franson

Alberta’s chief medical officer of health, Dr. Deena Hinshaw, updates media on the COVID-19 situation in Edmonton, Friday, March 20, 2020. Hinshaw says residents in long-term care and supportive living facilities will remain the priority as the province grapples with a looming slowdown in COVID-19 vaccine supply. THE CANADIAN PRESS/Jason Franson

Alberta long-term care residents remain priority in looming slowdown of COVID vaccine

There are 119 patients in intensive care and 1,463 people have died

Alberta’s chief medical officer of health says residents in long-term care and supportive living facilities will remain the priority as the province grapples with a looming slowdown in COVID-19 vaccine supply.

Dr. Deena Hinshaw says health officials may also have to rebook vaccination appointments for those getting the required second dose.

Hinshaw made the announcement just hours after the federal government said there will be no shipments of the Pfizer-BioNTech vaccine next week and reduced shipments for about three weeks after that.

The slowdown is due to Pfizer retrofitting its Belgium-based plant in order to ramp up production down the road.

Hinshaw says Alberta has 456 new cases of COVID-19, with 740 patients in hospital.

There are 119 patients in intensive care and 1,463 people have died.

“This is frustrating, but the factory issues in Belgium are out of our control,” Health Minister Tyler Shandro said in a release Tuesday.

“We will continue to use what we have to protect as many Albertans as possible. And we will continue to inform Albertans of any changes to our vaccination plans.”

Alberta recently finished giving first doses of vaccine to all residents in its 357 long-term care and supportive living facilities.

“These are absolutely the highest-risk locations, and people who live in these facilities are the most vulnerable to severe outcomes,” Hinshaw told a virtual news conference.

“Two-thirds of all our (COVID-19) deaths have been in long-term care and supportive living facilities.”

Alberta has given 90,000 first doses of the Moderna and Pfizer-BioNTech vaccines to those in the high priority cohort: those in the care homes and front-line health-care workers.

Canada was to get more than 417,000 doses of the Pfizer-BioNTech vaccine this week and next, but will now get just over 171,000 this week and nothing the following week. Both vaccines require two doses weeks apart for full effectiveness.

The delay has also forced the province to put off implementing the next phase of priority cases: Indigenous seniors over 65 and other seniors 75 and older.

Alberta remains under strict lockdown measures, which include a ban on indoor gatherings. Bars, restaurants and lounges can offer takeout or pickup service only. Retailers are limited to 15 per cent customer capacity, while entertainment venues like casinos and movie theatres remain shuttered.

The province relaxed some measure slightly on Monday. Outdoor gatherings can have 10 people maximum. Personal care services, like hair salons, manicure and pedicure salons and tattoo shops, can open by appointment only.

Hinshaw said it’s not clear when further restrictions can be lifted.

“Our health system is still under severe strain,” she said.

“This continues to impact our ability to deliver care, not only for COVID-19 but all the other health needs Albertans have.”

There were 11,096 active COVID cases Tuesday, about half the number recorded at its peak in mid-December.

Dean Bennett, The Canadian Press

Just Posted

Alberta Chief Medical Officer of Health Dr. Deena Hinshaw said Alberta’s declining COVID-19 numbers are a positive sign for the province. (photo by Chris Schwarz/Government of Alberta)
Red Deer down to 634 active COVID-19 cases

Central zone down to 2,054 active cases

Photo/ Town of Millet
Town of Millet purchases electric zamboni

The Town of Millet recently purchased a brand new fully electric zamboni… Continue reading

The 24/7 Integrated Response Hub and emergency shelter have been in the Civic Building since November 2020. Shaela Dansereau/ Pipestone Flyer.
City of Wetaskiwin revokes use of Civic Building as homeless shelter

The 24/7 Integrated Response Hub has been in the Civic Building since November 2020.

Photo/ Marlene Alberts
Millet Community Garden of Hope proves popular in its first year

The Town of Millet’s first community garden is completed and proving popular… Continue reading

(Historica Canada)
VIDEO: Heritage Minute marks 100th anniversary of work to discover insulin

Video centres on Leonard Thompson, 13, the first patient to receive successful injections for Type 1 diabetes

Robert Raymond Cook is guarded by RCMP officers after being arrested for the murder of his father. Cook was found guilty of his father’s murder and sentenced to death by hanging. He was never charged with the murder of his stepmother and five half-siblings but was believed to be guilty. Photo from Provincial Archives of Alberta.
Poem apparently written by convicted Stettler murderer Robert Raymond Cook surfaces in Athabasca County

Cook was executed in 1960 in connection with the slaying of his entire family in Stettler

Abbotsford Regional Hospital. (Black Press Media files)
Canada marks 25,000 COVID-19 deaths since the pandemic began

6 in every 10,000 Canadians died of COVID-19 since March 9, 2020

Capt. Jenn Casey died in a crash just outside of Kamloops, B.C., on May 17, 2020. (CF Snowbirds)
Snowbirds to honour Capt. Casey, who died in B.C. crash, in 2021 tour

Tour will kick off in Ontario in June before heading west

A vial of AstraZeneca vaccine is seen at a mass COVID-19 vaccination clinic in Calgary, Alta., Thursday, April 22, 2021. Dr. Ben Chan remembers hearing the preliminary reports back in March of blood clots appearing in a handful of European recipients of the Oxford-AstraZeneca COVID-19 vaccine. THE CANADIAN PRESS/Jeff McIntosh
Science on COVID, VITT constantly changing: A look at how doctors keep up

While VITT can represent challenges as a novel disorder, blood clots themselves are not new

Welcoming cowboy boots at the historic and colourful Last Chance Saloon in the ghost town of Wayne near Drumheller, Alta., on Thursday, Sept. 19, 2019. The bar and hotel are up for sale. THE CANADIAN PRESS/Jeff McIntosh
‘It was a going concern’: Remaining bar and hotel in Alberta coal ghost town for sale

The historic Last Chance Saloon in the ghost town of Wayne in southern Alberta is up for sale

Chief Public Health Officer Theresa Tam listens to a question during a news conference, in Ottawa. THE CANADIAN PRESS/Adrian Wyld
Restrictions will lift once 75% of Canadians get 1 shot and 20% are fully immunized, feds say

Federal health officials are laying out their vision of what life could look like after most Canadians are vaccinated against COVID-19

Chris Scott, owner of The Whistle Stop Cafe, was put in handcuffs after an anti-restriction protest Saturday in the parking lot of the business. (Screenshot via The Whistle Stop Facebook page)
Alberta RCMP investigating possible threat to police after Mirror rally

Online images show RCMP members, vehicles in crosshairs of a rifle

Most Read