Scott eager for more vaccines to arrive; eight new cases, 33 recoveries in Fort McMurray

Mayor Don Scott is hoping the Alberta government can hasten its rollout of COVID-19 vaccines, which he says is critical for restarting the local economy.

In a Wednesday interview, Scott said he knows “quite a few” people that already have appointments to receive their first dose of a COVID-19 vaccine.

He is also happy with recent news that EMS workers will be included in the first phase of the province’s vaccination program. The municipality was one of many groups advocating for EMS inclusion in December, he said.

“I’m never going to be satisfied until everyone is vaccinated,” said Scott. “The more people that are vaccinated… is going to have a positive effect on the economy.”

Vaccine shortages has slowed Alberta’s progress on vaccinating people. In some parts of Alberta, supply has been completely used up. Other areas are delaying appointments to ration remaining doses for vulnerable populations.

Prime Minister Justin Trudeau announced Tuesday that Canada ordered an additional 20 million doses of the Pfizer-BioNTech vaccine.

Along with anticipated doses from Moderna, Canada expects 80 million doses to be delivered this year. This will allow enough for roughly 20 million people across Canada to be vaccinated between April and June.

Dr. Deena Hinshaw said at her Wednesday press conference the limited supply will likely be a common problem in the near future until more vaccines begin arriving in Alberta at a faster rate.

Across Alberta, new daily COVID-19 cases have continued to drop slowly. Despite the positive news, Hinshaw said active cases are still too high and it is too soon for Albertans to relax restrictions. She called it the “most challenging moment of the pandemic so far.”

“Ultimately, if we open up and people are not following those measures and we start to see our cases rise again… we can very quickly get into a difficult situation again with respect to our acute care system,“ she said.
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