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

Red Deer group looking to keep roads safe for cyclists

A Red Deer cycling group is concerned about road safety after multiple… Continue reading

Smoke and pets do not mix

Take care of your pets during the smoky weather

Former Red Deer lawyer sentenced

Charges included possession of stolen property

Man causes mischief with axe in Ponoka

Arson and attempted break and enter charges laid

WATCH: Raising money for kids at the Gord Bamford Charity Golf Classic

Former NHL players, Olympians, pro rodeo circuit members and musicians teed off… Continue reading

Oilpatch fears delays as U.S. judge orders further review of KXL pipeline route

CALGARY — Potential delays in the completion of the Keystone XL pipeline… Continue reading

‘Queen of Soul’ Aretha Franklin dies at 76

NEW YORK — Aretha Franklin, the undisputed “Queen of Soul” who sang… Continue reading

Arrests in Burnaby, B.C., as order against Kinder Morgan protest camp enforced

BURNABY, B.C. — The RCMP arrested protesters Thursday as officers enforced a… Continue reading

‘Hot and dirty work:’ Commander describes fighting massive Ontario wildfire

BRITT, Ont. — From a helicopter flying over a smouldering swath of… Continue reading

Calgary Fire Department logs record opioid overdose calls in July

CALGARY — The Calgary Fire Department says there were a record number… Continue reading

RCMP in Burnaby, B.C., say Kinder Morgan protest camp to be dismantled

BURNABY, B.C. — The RCMP arrested protesters when officers enforced a court… Continue reading

Study: Smokers better off quitting, even with weight gain

NEW YORK — If you quit smoking and gain weight, it may… Continue reading

Most Read


Five-day delivery plus unlimited digital access for $185 for 260 issues (must live in delivery area to qualify) Unlimited Digital Access 99 cents for the first four weeks and then only $15 per month Five-day delivery plus unlimited digital access for $15 a month