Graphic: Darren Francey/Postmedia
Text: The Canadian Press
Preparing for COVID-19 vaccinations
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Now that Canada has approved the COVID-19 vaccine from Pfizer and BioNTech, here's how provinces are preparing for rollout.
The Canadian Press
Premier Jason Kenney says Alberta expects to start getting COVID-19 vaccines in the first week of January. High-risk patients and health workers will get them first. Kenney says the vaccines will be rolled out from 30 locations in the province. Dr. Deena Hinshaw, Alberta’s chief medical officer of health has said the province is expected to receive 680,000 doses of COVID-19 vaccine early in the new year.
The Saskatchewan government says it expects to receive 1,950 doses of Pfizer’s vaccine by next Tuesday. The effort will begin with a pilot vaccination program at the Regina General Hospital for health-care workers in intensive and emergency care, COVID-19 units and testing and assessment centres. The province plans to move into its first official stage of its vaccination program in late December as it receives more doses.
Premier Brian Pallister says the province has purchased the necessary supplies to administer two doses to every person in the province. The first special freezer able to store the Pfizer vaccine has been delivered, with another four on the way. As vaccine supply expands over the coming months, the province says it will become more widely available in a larger number of sites, similar to a conventional annual flu shot.
Premier Doug Ford says vulnerable seniors, their caregivers and health-care workers will be among the first to receive a vaccine. Adults in Indigenous communities, residents of retirement homes and recipients of chronic home health care will also be considered priority groups. The province says it should be able to vaccinate 1.2 million people during the first three months of 2021.
Quebec says the first doses of the COVID-19 vaccine could be administered in the province as early as next week. Health Minister Christian Dube says the province plans to give its first doses of the Pfizer vaccine to about 2,000 people in long-term care homes. Dube says Quebec also expects to receive enough Pfizer vaccines between Dec. 21 and Jan. 4 to vaccinate 22,000 to 28,000 people.
Nova Scotia will receive 1,950 doses of Pfizer’s COVID-19 vaccine for an initial test run next week. The province will also be participating in a dry run this week with the federal government, Dalhousie University and the vaccine manufacturer. Chief medical officer of health Dr. Robert Strang said the province expects to get weekly allotments of the vaccine, for a total of 150,000 doses by the end of March.
Premier Andrew Furey says he anticipates receiving 1,950 doses of the COVID-19 vaccine at the St. John’s receiving site next week. The announcement comes as Furey told reporters Monday that the province would remain outside of the Atlantic “bubble,” meaning all visitors to the province must self-isolate for 14 days, regardless of whether they come from Atlantic Canada.
Premier Sandy Silver says he is meeting with the prime minister and his fellow premiers later this week to discuss plans for vaccine rollout. He says the goal will be to provide vaccines to elderly people and health-care providers. The Pfizer vaccine could cause logistical problems for remote communities because of its cold-storage requirements.
Nunavut’s chief public health officer says the territory will look to get the Moderna vaccine once it’s available in Canada. Dr. Michael Patterson says Moderna’s vaccine is preferred because Pfizer’s requires cold storage and shipping would be too difficult in Nunavut. Lorne Kusugak, Nunavut has been lobbying the federal government to make it a high priority to receive COVID-19 vaccines.
New Brunswick health officials say the province expects to receive up to 1,950 doses of the Pfizer vaccine around Dec. 14 as part of the first of two shipments that may occur this month. The province is working to identify the priority groups that will receive the vaccine in the first phase of vaccinations, based on recommendations from the federal government.
PRINCE EDWARD ISLAND
Health officials say they are ready to administer the COVID-19 vaccine when the first shipment of 1,950 doses arrives next week. Chief medical officer of health Dr. Heather Morrison says the province plans to begin by administering the Pfizer vaccine to priority groups, including residents and staff of long-term care homes, health-care workers and adults in Indigenous communities.
Premier John Horgan says about 4,000 high-risk people will be immunized by the end of next week. The first doses will go to health-care workers and elders living in long-term care, provincial health officer Dr. Bonnie Henry says. Provincial officials are expected to provide more information about the rollout of the vaccine soon.