Alberta government has released a preliminary plan to receive and distribute COVID-19 vaccines.
Once vaccines are approved by Health Canada, Alberta anticipates receiving enough doses of vaccines between January and March 2021 to initially immunize up to 435,000 Albertans who are most at-risk.
The Alberta government has appointed a new COVID-19 Vaccine Task Force chaired by the deputy minister of Municipal Affairs, retired Lt.-Gen. Paul Wynnyk. The task force will oversee the implementation of the province’s immunization delivery program to ensure the ethical, timely and effective distribution of vaccines across Alberta. The COVID-19 Vaccine Task Force members will include cross-government expertise in operations and logistics, federal-provincial relations, health and clinical domains, public health and immunization, ethics and information technology and data.
Kenney said the province has struck an inter-departmental team to roll out the vaccines from 30 different locations.
“Alberta is well prepared to receive, distribute and administer a vaccine as soon as doses arrive,” Kenney told reporters Wednesday.
“This is evidence that there is light at the end of the tunnel, and we can see this critical juncture when we will get past the terrible damage that COVID-19 has caused for our society.”
“We have been assured by the federal government that shipments will begin to arrive by Jan. 4 and continue to arrive in waves throughout the early part of next year.”
Alberta’s Phased Immunization Program
Vaccines will be distributed through a phased immunization program (exact amounts and timelines are still being finalized):
- Phase 1 (January to April 2021) – vaccinate about 435,000 people most at risk, including:
- front-line health care workers
- residents and staff in long-term care and designated supported living facilities
- on-reserve First Nations individuals over age 65
- seniors aged 75 and older
- Phase 2 (April to September 2021) – continue targeting priority populations
- Phase 3 (Fall 2021) – the anticipated start of roll-out to the general public
Alberta has been allocated doses of two vaccines – Pfizer and Moderna. Alberta expects to receive doses of a Pfizer vaccine starting in early 2021, followed by doses of the Moderna vaccine. Both vaccines are expected to arrive in multiple shipments throughout the first quarter of 2021. Additional shipments of vaccine are expected later in 2021 as global production increases. Alberta has 30 vaccine depots that can store and distribute the Moderna vaccine and 3 depots that can store Pfizer vaccine which requires -80 deg Celcius storage. Pfizer vaccine needs to be kept at ultra-low temperatures, so special freezers and transports are being ordered. Both vaccines need to be administered in two doses three to six weeks apart.
— With Files From The Canadian Press