LIVE at 12:30 p.m.: Alberta to begin COVID-19 jabs for seniors 75 and over

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Alberta will begin administering COVID-19 vaccine to seniors 75 and over and those living in congregate seniors’ care settings who have yet to receive the jab, Premier Jason Kenney said Friday.

The next steps come as all long-term care and designated supported living residents in Alberta public facilities have now received their second and final doses of vaccine, the premier said.

Kenney made the announcement during a morning appearance on Danielle Smith’s 770 CHQR radio show. He is expected to reveal more details about the next phase of vaccine rollout alongside Health Minister Tyler Shandro at a 12:30 p.m. press conference.

Alberta is currently in the midst of Phase 1A of vaccine rollout, seeing aforementioned continuing-care residents as well as medical staff including respiratory therapists, paramedics, emergency-room staff and intensive-care unit workers immunized.

The province has remained mired in the early phase of vaccine delivery due to cut deliveries of both the Pfizer-BioNTech and Moderna shots over the past month. News of large vaccine shipments to Canada looks to boost the nation’s rollout in the coming weeks.

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In addition to seniors age 75 and over, the next phase of inoculations is expected to include First Nations and Métis people 65 and over living in their communities.

Officials have not yet revealed vaccine timelines or priorities for future phases of vaccinations. When pushed on the topic Thursday, Shandro shied away from providing specifics, saying details would be given “fairly soon.”

Calgary Mayor Naheed Nenshi said Thursday he’s more concerned about provincial delivery of vaccine than supply.

He predicted a significant acceleration of immunization and said local Calgary Emergency Management Agency teams were working with the provinces on the logistics of the rollout.

“I’m very hopeful that within the next few weeks, we’ll be saying, ‘How do we manage these huge lineups of people who are ready for vaccine and make them move more quickly?’ That will be a problem, but it’ll be a very good problem to have,” Nenshi said.

To date in Alberta, the province has administered 155,532 doses of vaccine, with 58,674 Albertans fully immunized after receiving two doses.

Kenney and Shandro will address Albertans at 12:30 p.m..

jherring@postmedia.com

Twitter: @jasonfherring

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