Thousands of Albertans can get ready to roll up their sleeves for coronavirus vaccinations.
The UCP government announcing Friday afternoon that more than 1.79 million Albertans will receive the COVID-19 vaccine this spring under Phase 2 of the province’s vaccine distribution strategy.
Phase 2 vaccinations will be offered in a staged approach and once completed, will have vaccinated anyone aged 50 to 74 years, anyone with high-risk underlying health conditions, First Nations and Métis people aged 35 and older, residents and staff in congregate living settings, and eligible caregivers.
Phase 2 is targeted to begin in April, depending on the supply of vaccine.
Premier Jason Kenney says Alberta’s vaccine roll-out has always prioritized people who are most at risk from COVID-19 and Phase 2 is no different.
“We have listened to advice from public health experts and our Vaccine Task Force to identify those at-risk Albertans,” Kenney stated Friday. “By the time Phase 2 is complete, 1.79 million more Albertans will have received COVID-19 vaccination, and we will be able to move onto vaccinating the general public.”
The Premier said the province is ready to get vaccines into the arms of Albertans as quickly as possible. However, this relies on Alberta getting the right supply of vaccines from Ottawa, on time. “We need the federal government to end the delays so we can get the job done.”
Eligibility in Phase 2 will move from Group A toward Group D:
Group A includes:
- Albertans aged 65 to 74, no matter where they live.
- First Nations and Métis people aged 50 to 64, on and off-reserve or Metis Settlements.
- Staff of licensed supportive living facilities not included in Phase 1.
Group B includes:
- Albertans aged 18 to 64 with high-risk underlying health conditions. Additional information on specific conditions will be provided prior to Phase 2 rollout.
Group C includes:
- Residents and staff of eligible congregate living settings. This includes correctional facilities, homeless shelters, and group homes, including disability, mental health and other types of licensed supportive living.
- Health-care workers providing direct and acute patient care who have a high potential for spread to high-risk individuals.
- Caregivers of Albertans who are most at risk of severe outcomes.
Group D includes:
- Albertans aged 50 to 64, no matter where they live.
- First Nations and Métis people aged 35 to 49 on and off-reserve or Metis Settlements.
Detailed information on how eligible Albertans will receive the vaccine will be released prior to each step in Phase 2. The timeline for starting each phase is dependent on vaccine supply and availability. Alberta relies on the federal government to distribute vaccine to the province.
Work to identify sequencing for all other groups is underway. All vaccinated individuals are expected to continue to follow health guidelines and restrictions.
(From Government of Alberta news release)
Written by Pat Siedlecki, MyLethbridgeNow.com