The province of Alberta received over 16,000 doses of the Moderna vaccine that will be offered to residents at continuing care facilities.
The Moderna shipment will be used to immunize residents at long-term care and designated supportive living facilities, starting with individuals at the highest risk to COVID-19.
“The arrival of Moderna in the province is another sign of hope and as more vaccines arrive, we will ensure Albertans who wish to be vaccinated are immunized as quickly as possible when they are eligible. Everyone who wants to receive the COVID-19 vaccine will be able to when their turn arrives,” said Premier Jason Kenney.
The vaccine will be delivered to vaccine sites in Calgary, St. Paul, Medicine Hat, Lethbridge, Grande Prairie, Red Deer, and Edmonton.
In addition, the Moderna doses will be offered to residents at six First Nation congregate living facilities on-reserve.
The Provincial Vaccine Depot will also receive the vaccine for further distribution to rural and remote communities.
“This news is particularly welcomed as we look towards a new year and what we hope will be a turning point in the fight against this global pandemic. The initial doses of the Moderna vaccine will be offered to residents in long-term care and designated supportive living facilities at highest risk,” said Minister of Health, Tyler Shandro.
“I am very pleased to hear that we will have access to more vaccine that is more readily transportable, enabling us to offer it to vulnerable Albertans. This is heartening news, but it is not the end of our hard work. We must continue to follow health measures to bend the curve and we must continue to be each other’s’ vaccine until we are all able to be immunized,” said the Chief Medical Officer of Health, Dr. Deena Hinshaw.
As more shipments of both the Pfizer and Moderna vaccines arrive in January, immunization will focus on residents of long-term care and designated supportive living facilities, followed by seniors aged 75 and over and residents aged 65 and over of First Nations reserve communities and Metis settlements.
Immunization of respiratory therapists, intensive care physicians, and staff, and long-term care, and designated supportive living facility workers across Alberta will continue.
Phase 2 is expected to start by April 2021. Final decisions regarding the sequencing of populations to receive the vaccine in Phase 2 have not yet been determined.
Phase 3 will involve rolling out vaccinations to the general Alberta population and is anticipated to start later in 2021.
The Pfizer vaccine was approved on Dec. 9, while the Moderna vaccine was approved on Dec. 23, and both vaccines require two doses.