As of Thursday, about 96,500 doses of COVID-19 vaccine had been administered to Albertans and more are likely going to be able to get their second dose thanks to another shipment.
Alberta Health confirmed the province received a shipment of Pfizer vaccine this week. That shipment included 21,450 doses.
“With 96,500 doses of vaccine delivered, thousands of the most vulnerable seniors and health-care workers now have an extra layer of protection,” chief medical officer of health Dr. Deena Hinshaw said Thursday.
As of Wednesday, Alberta Health Services had administered just 7,003 second doses.
On Monday, after learning of a delay in Pfizer vaccine, Premier Jason Kenney said first dose appointments were being paused to ensure there was enough vaccine available for committed second dose appointments.
On Tuesday, Hinshaw said it seemed like there was enough vaccine in hand as well as what had been committed, even with the reduction in Pfizer supplies, to be able to offer that second dose to those who have booked it.
On Thursday, Alberta’s top doctor reiterated the province would do its “utmost” to ensure “that every individual who’s received their first dose does get their second dose within the 42-day timeline.
“If not, they’ll continue to be eligible and will receive it as soon as possible after that.”
Hinshaw said Alberta was working with the federal government and other provinces to use current allocations “as wisely as possible.”
She added that while there are many unknowns with the Pfizer and Moderna COVID-19 vaccines, health officials can consider evidence from other types of vaccines.
“We know that with other vaccines, that when someone has their first dose, there is no end date at which time they’re no longer eligible for a second dose,” Hinshaw said.
“And we know, sometimes, with some other vaccines, that if there is a little bit of a longer interval between first and second dose, the overall long-lasting immune response can sometimes be better.”
On Thursday, Alberta confirmed an additional 678 cases of COVID-19 out of 14,060 tests, putting Alberta’s positivity rate at 4.8 per cent.
There were 726 people in hospital and 119 of those people were in the ICU.
“Our positivity rate, active cases and hospitalizations continue to decline,” Hinshaw said. “This is good news and shows restrictions are helping to prevent more people from being exposed and getting sick with this virus, and that the overwhelming majority of Albertans are doing their part.
“We are not in the clear just yet,” she said.
“Our cases are falling, but we still have the second highest active case rates per capita in Canada.
“While our hospitalizations have decreased significantly from the peak, they remain extremely high.”
An additional 16 deaths were also announced, bringing Alberta’s COVID-19 death toll to 1,500.
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