Patients age 75 and older who are occupying a Red Deer hospital bed can’t get vaccinated against COVID-19 — yet.
But Alberta Health Services states plans are underway to provide vaccinations to eligible patients who are in hospital for extended stays.
“Like everything, it’s up to the logistics of having enough vaccine delivery and supply,” AHS stated in an email.
A central Albertan shared with the Advocate earlier this week that his wife, who is recovering in hospital, couldn’t get a vaccine against COVID-19, even though she is eligible in the current phase of vaccine delivery.
According to AHS, patients in this situation will hopefully be able to be vaccinated in the coming weeks, once an adequate vaccine supply is assured.
Meanwhile, Red Deer Regional Hospital Centre employees are being vaccinated according to the province’s phased immunization program.
On-site vaccination clinics have been run by Workplace, Health and Safety Teams for eligible workers — who also have the option of booking appointments at an off-site public health clinic.
AHS was unable to provide information about how many eligible health workers have been inoculated, since vaccinations are not mandatory, and employees are not required to confirm they have received a shot.
“We do encourage staff to go online and complete the “got my COVID shot form” once they have received their second dose, but again, this is done on a voluntary basis.”
AHS spoke out on Wednesday against allegations made by the Alberta Union of Provincial Employees that some health managers who are working from home in the Calgary area were being vaccinated with a left-over supply of vaccine before some hospital support workers there.
AHS states these allegations are unfounded: “Vaccine wastage protocol (are) in place that outlines clearly how any leftover vaccine product is to be used.”
On rare occasions when a small number of doses remain at the end of the day and need to be used within a short time period, AHS uses an “evolving list of eligible individuals.” This includes those who are due to receive a second dose and are within the appropriate window; are eligible to receive their first dose but have not yet, and eligible to receive a first dose in the current or next phase.
“Staff and physicians have all been reminded of the current sequencing eligibility and how to report any potential errors in sequencing,” AHS has stated.
Any complaint of a breach of AHS policy will be reviewed “and appropriate actions taken.”