Moderna vaccine doses have arrived in Alberta and will be offered to residents in continuing care facilities.
This initial shipment will be used to immunize residents at long-term care and designated supportive living facilities beginning with those at highest risk, as the Moderna vaccine can be more readily transported to continuing care sites.
“The arrival of Moderna in the province is another sign of hope – and as more vaccines arrive, we will ensure Albertans who wish to be vaccinated are immunized as quickly as possible when they are eligible,” said Premier Jason Kenney.
“Everyone who wants to receive the COVID-19 vaccine will be able to when their turn arrives.”
The vaccine will be delivered to vaccine sites in Calgary, St. Paul, Medicine Hat, Lethbridge, Grande Prairie, Red Deer and Edmonton and will be offered to residents in continuing care facilities in those communities.
“This is heartening news, but it is not the end of our hard work,” said Dr. Deena Hinshaw, chief medical officer of health. “We must continue to follow health measures to bend the curve and we must continue to be each others’ vaccine until we are all able to be immunized.”
In addition, the Moderna doses will be offered to residents at six First Nation congregate living facilities on-reserve. The Provincial Vaccine Depot will also receive vaccine for further distribution to rural and remote communities.
Immunization of residents in continuing care facilities will start on Dec. 30.
As more shipments of both the Pfizer and Moderna vaccines arrive in early January, immunization will focus on residents of long-term care and designated supportive living facilities, followed by seniors aged 75 and over and residents aged 65 and over of First Nations reserve communities and Metis settlements. Immunization of respiratory therapists, intensive care physicians and staff, and long-term care and designated supportive living facility workers across Alberta will continue.
Phase 2 is still expected to start by April 2021. Final decisions regarding the sequencing of populations to receive the vaccine in Phase 2 have not yet been determined.
Phase 3 will involve rolling out vaccinations to the general Alberta population, and is anticipated to start later in 2021.
Both the Pfizer and Moderna vaccines require two doses.
The Pfizer vaccine was approved on Dec. 9. The Moderna vaccine was approved on Dec. 23.