‘Another setback’: Alberta postpones first dose appointments amid vaccine shortage

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All new first-dose appointments have been postponed and some second-dose appointments are being rescheduled. Plans to vaccinate individuals over the age of 65 in First Nations and Métis communities could also be delayed, said Shandro.

As of Monday, 92,315 doses had been administered.

Dr. Deena Hinshaw, Alberta’s chief medical officer of health, said those who have received their first dose of COVID-19 vaccine will be prioritized, in addition to the most vulnerable Albertans.

Hinshaw said the province did get some Pfizer vaccine this week, but did not offer specifics.

Alberta also has some Moderna vaccine in use.

On Tuesday, 456 new COVID-19 infections were identified from 8,258 tests, representing a positivity rate of about 5.5 per cent.

“Our positivity rate is declining but it is still far above the one to three per cent that we saw for most of the summer and fall,” said Hinshaw, adding there has been an overall decline in testing numbers compared to December.

“We don’t know all the reasons for this, but one factor could be fewer people getting sick. While having fewer people showing symptoms and needing testing is a good thing, I want to remind anyone who experiences any symptom of COVID-19 to stay home and book testing immediately.”

There are currently 740 Albertans in hospital, 119 of whom are in ICU.

Another 17 deaths were recorded Tuesday, bringing the provincial death toll to 1,463.

Hinshaw said the health system is still under severe strain and continues to affect care for Albertans. She urged people to “make good choices” as restrictions ease this week.

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