Alberta’s plan for AstraZeneca vaccine to be addressed at COVID-19 update Wednesday afternoon

Alberta’s chief medical officer of health is scheduled to provide an update on COVID-19 Wednesday afternoon, when Albertans are expected to learn more about the province’s plan for the AstraZeneca vaccine.

Dr. Deena Hinshaw is scheduled to provide the update at 3:30 p.m. Wednesday. The news conference will be streamed live in this story post.

Read more: Alberta considers further extending time between doses of COVID-19 vaccine

Health Canada approved Oxford-AstraZeneca’s coronavirus vaccine for all adult Canadians on Friday, making it the third shot officially authorized in the country. The first doses of the vaccine are set to arrive in Canada on Wednesday.

However, on Monday, Canada’s National Advisory Committee on Immunization (NACI) announced it is not currently recommending the AstraZeneca vaccine be used on people aged 65 or older.

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The NACI said there is limited data from clinical trials about how effective the Oxford-AstraZeneca vaccine is for seniors and recommends that they be given priority for the two other vaccines — Pfizer-BioNTech and Moderna — already greenlighted for use in Canada.

Click to play video 'Confusion mounts over who should get Oxford-AstraZeneca’s COVID-19 vaccine' Confusion mounts over who should get Oxford-AstraZeneca’s COVID-19 vaccine

Confusion mounts over who should get Oxford-AstraZeneca’s COVID-19 vaccine

On Wednesday morning, Premier Jason Kenney was asked during an unrelated news conference whether Alberta had made any decisions on how and to whom the AstraZeneca will be rolled out.

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“I believe the minister and/or Dr. Hinshaw will be addressing that this afternoon,” Kenney said Wednesday.

“Stay tuned. There is another news conference this afternoon at 3:30, I believe, where that will be addressed.”

Read more: Canada receives 1st AstraZeneca vaccine shipment as confusion lingers

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As of March 1, some 245,054 doses of vaccine had been administered in Alberta with 88,539 Albertans fully immunized with two doses.

On Tuesday, Alberta recorded 257 new cases of COVID-19 and two additional deaths from the disease.

There were 261 people in hospital with COVID-19 on Tuesday, 54 of whom were being treated in intensive care.

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