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Alberta received shipment of 21,450 Pfizer COVID-19 vaccines this week

Click to play video 'Coronavirus: Over 1.1 million vaccine doses distributed across Canada' Coronavirus: Over 1.1 million vaccine doses distributed across Canada
WATCH (Jan. 21): Maj.-Gen. Dany Fortin, head of the COVID-19 vaccine distribution team said on Thursday that over 1.1 million doses of vaccines have been delivered so far to provinces and territories after Pfizer announced their supply to Canada would be reduced by an average of 50 per cent until mid-February – Jan 21, 2021

About 97,785 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.

Read more: Canada adds 5,955 new COVID-19 infections as Pfizer vaccines get delayed further

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 7,272 second doses.

Read more: What to know about 2nd doses of COVID-19 vaccine in Alberta as shortages persist

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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.

Click to play video 'Alberta Health Services prioritizing second doses of COVID-19 vaccine' Alberta Health Services prioritizing second doses of COVID-19 vaccine
Alberta Health Services prioritizing second doses of COVID-19 vaccine – Jan 19, 2021

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.”

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Click to play video 'What to know about 2nd doses of COVID-19 vaccine in Alberta as shortages persist' What to know about 2nd doses of COVID-19 vaccine in Alberta as shortages persist
What to know about 2nd doses of COVID-19 vaccine in Alberta as shortages persist – Jan 21, 2021

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.

Read more: Pfizer vaccine delay a ‘blow,’ will affect Alberta’s vaccine schedule: health minister

“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.

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“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.”

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On Friday, Alberta Health said 643 new COVID-19 cases had been identified in the last 24 hours and 13,019 tests had been completed. That puts Alberta’s positivity rate at about 4.9 per cent.

There are currently 9,987 active cases in Alberta.

As of Friday, there are 691 Albertans in hospital with COVID-19, with 115 of those in ICU.

Read more: Current COVID-19 restrictions in place ‘a little while longer’ as Alberta reaches 1,500 deaths

Twelve additional deaths were reported to Alberta Health, bringing the provincial death toll to 1,512.

Of the 12 deaths reported Friday, five were in the Edmonton zone: a man in his 70s from Jasper Place Continuing Care Centre, a man in his 80s from Edmonton Chinatown Care Centre, a man in his 80s from Shepherd’s Care Vanguard, a woman in her 90s from Laurier House Lynnwood and a man in his 90s linked to the outbreak at the Fort Saskatchewan Community Hospital. Alberta Health said all of these cases included comorbidities.

Three deaths were reported in the Calgary zone: a man in his 80s from Bethany Calgary, a woman in her 90s from Revera Scenic Acres Retirement Residence and a man in his 90s linked to the outbreak at Foothills Medical Centre. All of these deaths included comorbidities.

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Three deaths were reported in the Central zone: a woman in her 50, a woman in her 80s and a man in his 80s linked to the outbreak at Seasons Camrose. All three included comorbidities.

A woman in her 90s with comorbidities who was linked to the outbreak at Prairie Lake Supportive Living in the North zone also died.

Click to play video 'Alberta will not relax public health restrictions yet, despite falling cases of COVID-19' Alberta will not relax public health restrictions yet, despite falling cases of COVID-19
Alberta will not relax public health restrictions yet, despite falling cases of COVID-19 – Jan 21, 2021

In terms of vaccine, the province said 97,785 doses had been administered as of Jan. 21.

“Our positivity rate, active cases and hospitalizations continue to decline,” Hinshaw said Thursday. “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.

Read more: Feds publish coronavirus vaccine distribution list, painting rollout picture for coming months

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“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.