Hinshaw assures vaccine safety as frustrations mount amid Alberta’s shrinking supply

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During a job interview with a private company Tuesday, Jeffries said she was asked if she had received the vaccine and was denied immediate employment when she said she hadn’t.

“I can’t compete in a job right now because their preference is for people who have had at least the first dose, so that’s upsetting, and to be told that there’s no estimated date for first doses to be supplied . . . it’s all starting to feel a little heavy,” Jeffries said.

“Not knowing when I’m going to get the first dose, I feel like I’m not only at health risk, I’m at job risk.”

Hinshaw said she understood the frustrations from health-care workers, especially in the wake of a public call-out for staff to sign up for open vaccination spots less than a week earlier, before the Pfizer delay was announced.

She said there’s no timeline for when first doses may resume, saying there is not enough vaccine in stock to do so while covering off second doses.

“I would ask health-care workers and others to be patient and to assure them that we are doing everything we can to plan forward, to ensure that when we do have enough supply, hopefully the experience of booking and receiving vaccine will be as smooth as possible for them.”

The 95,243 vaccinations administered in Alberta break down to 88,240 first doses and 7,003 second doses. On a per-capita basis, Alberta outpaces all provinces except for Prince Edward Island and Saskatchewan for vaccinations.

Also Wednesday, Alberta reported 669 new cases of COVID-19 from 14,888 tests, about a 4.5 per cent positivity rate. It’s the lowest positivity rate logged in Alberta since Oct. 31, but still far exceeds the one-to-three per cent rate seen during the summer and through early fall.

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