Outdoor gatherings of up to 10 people will be allowed starting Monday, Minister of Health Tyler Shandro announced Thursday. (Photo by Paul Taillon/Office of the Premier)

Province, doctors working together to vaccinate more Albertans

Alberta Health is aiming to get doctors on their side as the COVID-19 pandemic continues.

In a joint statement, Alberta Minister of Health Tyler Shandro and Alberta Medical Association president Paul Boucher announced a partnership between the two groups.

“It is now time to form a partnership between the Government of Alberta and the 11,000 physicians who call our province home to get as many vaccines into the arms of Albertans as quickly as possible,” the statement read.

“Our first priority is to begin a conversation with Albertans about getting the vaccine. We know that some Albertans may be hesitant to get the vaccine. But we also know that Albertans want to protect their loved ones. That’s why we will work together to speak directly to Albertans about the importance of taking the vaccine.”

The statement also said that down the road, there is a hope that physicians can be involved in the COVID-19 vaccine deployment plan. It also notes that doctors need to be included on the vaccine prioritization list.

“We need to make sure that Alberta’s primary care providers are prepared to respond to the millions of Albertans who will need to be vaccinated safely,” the statement read.

Earlier this year, more than 200 doctors in Alberta signed a letter asking for the prioritization of health-care staff who work directly with patients on a dedicated COVID-19 unit.

The doctors, who include primary care physicians, general internists and medical subspecialists, said they have stepped forward to care for patients on the specialized units. They say the units have been operating since last spring.

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