Alberta expands booster-shot eligibility to all front-line health-care workers
Alberta expanded its booster-shot eligibility on Wednesday to also include front-line health-care workers.
Albertans aged 70 and older and First Nations, Metis and Inuit people 18 and older can also now get their third COVID-19 vaccine shot.
Nearly 40,000 residents in congregate care facilities and more than 180,000 immunocompromised Albertans have received their booster shot in recent weeks, Premier Jason Kenney said.
"The latest evidence shows that vaccine effectiveness may decrease over time in individuals who fall into one of the four groups that we just mentioned," Kenney said.
"If and when we receive scientific advice that points toward a need for booster doses in the general population, we will make sure that Albertans get them efficiently as long as that six-month interval has passed."
The new groups can begin to book their appointments on Monday, Nov. 8.
Of eligible Albertans, 87.2 per cent have one dose and 80.6 per cent have two or more.
WEDNESDAY'S COVID-19 NUMBERS
Alberta reported 487 new COVID-19 cases and 14 deaths on Wednesday.
Active cases across the province decreased to 6,693, while there are 697 patients in hospital with COVID-19, including 155 in intensive care.
"Throughout the month of October, we have seen a sharp decline in our cases across the province and across Albertans of all ages," Chief Medical Officer of Health Dr. Deena Hinshaw said.
"This combination is helping reduce the demand for acute and critical care for those with COVID-19."
She credits the decline to the province's health measures and increase in vaccinations.
"While this is all good progress, it does not mean that our work is done," the premier said.