A dwindling supply of H1N1 vaccine will start flowing again by the end of the week — but only for pregnant women and young children.
Health officials revealed plans for the revamped outbreak control campaign yesterday, announcing children between six months and five years can receive their shots starting Thursday, and pregnant women starting Friday.
“It’s really a no brainer, in a way, to target these groups,” said Dr. Andre Corriveau, Alberta’s chief medical officer of health, adding the groups are at highest risk for serious effects after infection.
Dr. Gerry Predy, Alberta Health Services’ senior medical officer of health, assured that there will be enough in stock to vaccinate all Albertans in both risk groups.
Everyone else, including people with chronic health conditions and emergency workers, must wait until more vaccine becomes available, said Corriveau.
“I ask all Albertans to be patient as we deal with the vaccine supply shortage and remind all there will be enough vaccine for everyone who needs or wants it,” Corriveau said.
The re-launch came after the province closed vaccine clinics on Saturday, ending days of frustrating lineups by healthy Albertans and people from higher-risk groups who were responding to the government’s call for everyone to get vaccinated. To cope with the strain in Calgary, an additional vaccine centre will be opened in the Stampede Grandstand.
During question period, opposition leaders openly attacked the Tory government for initially urging all Albertans to get inoculated, without foreseeing a shortage.
When asked if Health Minister Ron Liepert and Corriveau would be fired, Premier Ed Stelmach said he has “every confidence” in both men.
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