Supportive living and long-term care facilities in central Alberta will soon be getting the COVID-19 vaccine.
Premier Jason Kenney announced Tuesday that the province received 16,900 doses of the Moderna vaccine and first shipments will arrive Wednesday in Red Deer, as well as Edmonton, Calgary and other major Alberta cities. Those doses are designated for residents and workers in supportive living and long-term care facilities.
“This news is particularly welcome as we look towards a new year and what we hope will be a turning point in the fight against this pandemic,” Kenney said.
Alberta Minister of Health Tyler Shandro said that additional public health nurses, as well as immunization specialists, will help deliver the vaccine to residents in long term care homes. Retired nurses and student nurses will also be deployed to help administer the vaccine.
Kenney also noted that more than 7,000 doses of vaccine have already been delivered to front line health care workers and that the province is still on track to have 10 per cent of Albertans vaccinated by the end of the winter. Earlier this month, Shandro said the province planned to vaccinate 29,000 health care workers by the end of December.
Tuesday, he said that AHS opted to hold back some of the Pfizer vaccine in order to ensure they could deliver second doses to those health care workers.
The vaccine announcement came as the premier reported 879 new cases of COVID-19, with 26 new deaths. He said there are now 14,785 active cases in Alberta and the test positivity rate Tuesday was 7.7 per cent.
Alberta peaked at just over 20,000 active cases of the virus this winter.
Red Deer now has 296 active cases of the virus, with 1,113 recovered. Red Deer County sits at 85 active cases and Lacombe County has 46 active. Lacombe has 29 active, Olds has 28 active and Sylvan Lake 31 active.
Mountain View County has 30 active cases of COVID-19, while Kneehill County has 13 active and Clearwater County has 23 active.
Camrose sits at 60 active and Camrose County has 17 active.
Wetaskiwin, the County of Wetaskiwin and Ponoka County have 610 combined cases of the virus.