Prisoners a priority for shot

Children, pregnant women and federal prisoners at Bowden Institution have something in common — they will be the only members of the public in Central Alberta who can access H1N1 vaccine over the next few days.

Children, pregnant women and federal prisoners at Bowden Institution have something in common — they will be the only members of the public in Central Alberta who can access H1N1 vaccine over the next few days.

A vaccination program for front-line health care workers continues, but due to the national vaccine shortage, Alberta Health Services has limited public vaccine access to children aged six months to under five years at clinics open today. On Friday, clinics will be expanded to include pregnant women.

Clinics will continue to be open only to those two groups into next week because the province considers them to be at the highest risk of severe flu complications.

However, Corrections Canada is also making the vaccine available to federal prisoners who are identified to be in high-risk health groups by the Public Health Agency of Canada, like those under 65 with chronic health conditions.

Jillan Pranger, spokesperson with Corrections Canada, said the vaccine arrived at the Bowden prison on Tuesday and vaccinations will likely begin soon.

“They will probably start within the next few days, but I can’t say for sure,” Pranger said on Wednesday.

She said the federal government must provide inmates with the H1N1 vaccine just like it provides seasonal influenza immunization to inmates.

“The reason why we offer it to them is a requirement by law to provide essential health care.”

But providing vaccine to prison staff is outside the federal “realm of responsibility,” Pranger said. “We don’t have any legal authority over our staff members at all. The best we can do is recommend they go get vaccinated.”

Bowden Institution, a medium and minimum security facility, had 647 inmates as of Wednesday and about 400 staff.

Children eligible for vaccinations at community clinics starting today are those aged six months on the day of vaccination to under five years as of Nov. 1.

Children will require proof of age from an Alberta Health Care card, birth certificate or other valid identification.

The only exception for today’s vaccinations will be made for pregnant women who bring in children and are willing to be vaccinated with adjuvanted vaccine, which boosts the body’s immune response and increases the vaccine effectiveness.

On Friday, immunization expands to include pregnant women when non-adjuvanted vaccine will be available as a safety precaution for pregnancy.

Dr. Gerry Predy, Alberta Health Services’ Senior Medical Officer of Health, said the vaccination campaign will be evaluated on a day-to-day basis to determine when other high-risk groups can access vaccine.

szielinski@bprda.wpengine.com

Just Posted

PHOTOS: Red Deer College Queens host third annual Pink in the Rink game

The Red Deer College Queens hosted the Olds College Broncos at the… Continue reading

PHOTOS: The Mustard Seed CEO speaks at Seeds of Hope Gala in Red Deer

The first-ever Seeds of Hope Gala was held at the Red Deer… Continue reading

PHOTO: Renewable Energy Fair at Red Deer College

The Renewable Energy Fair and Workshops event was held at Red Deer… Continue reading

Person airlifted to hospital after collision near Innisfail

One person was airlifted to hospital after a serious collision west of… Continue reading

WATCH: Make-A-Wish grants Star Wars loving teen’s wish

The Make-A-Wish Foundation granted Anakin Suerink’s wish in Red Deer Saturday afternoon

‘Stupid’ law preventing Canada’s re-engagement with Iran: retired envoy

OTTAWA — The real reason the Liberal government hasn’t been able to… Continue reading

Voters head to polls for BC municipal elections today

VANCOUVER — Voters in British Columbia will head to the polls today… Continue reading

All sharks tagged in N.S. expedition can now be tracked on Ocearch website

HALIFAX — All six of the sharks tagged in Nova Scotian waters… Continue reading

Memorial service for former PQ minister Lise Payette today in Montreal

MONTREAL — Mourners will gather to remember former Parti Quebecois cabinet minister… Continue reading

Immunotherapy scores a first win against some breast cancers

For the first time, one of the new immunotherapy drugs has shown… Continue reading

‘Mom I’m in trouble:’ Canadian, Brit face 10 years in jail for alleged graffiti

GRANDE PRAIRIE, Alta. — The mother of a Canadian who was arrested… Continue reading

Coyote on the prowl near Penhold

This coyote was out on the prowl in a field just west… Continue reading

Most Read