Hinshaw responds to Moderna approval, announces 19 more COVID-19 deaths in Alberta

Hinshaw responds to Moderna approval, announces 19 more COVID-19 deaths in Alberta

On Wednesday, in her last in-person update before Christmas, Dr. Deena Hinshaw announced Alberta has recorded 1,301 new cases of COVID-19 in the last 24 hours.

Over that time, more than 19,000 tests were completed. That means Alberta’s positivity rate is about 6.8 per cent.

As of Wednesday, there were 821 Albertans in hospital, 146 of whom were in intensive care.

Read more:
Canada approves Moderna coronavirus vaccine, 1st doses to arrive in ‘coming days’

Alberta Health announced Wednesday there had been 19 additional deaths due to COVID-19. All of them were connected to outbreaks at continuing care or hospital facilities.

A woman in her 80s linked to the outbreak at Mayerthorpe Extendicare in North Zone died, along with a woman in her 100s linked to the outbreak at Rivercrest Care Centre in Edmonton Zone, a woman in her 80s linked to the outbreak at Rivercrest Care Centre in Edmonton Zone, a man in his 90s linked to the outbreak at Rivercrest Care Centre in Edmonton Zone, a man in his 80s linked to the outbreak at Capital Care Strathcona in Edmonton Zone, a man in his 90s linked to the outbreak at Capital Care Strathcona in Edmonton Zone, a man in his 90s linked to the outbreak at Rivercrest Care Centre in Edmonton Zone, a woman in her 90s linked to the outbreak at Capital Care Strathcona in Edmonton Zone, a man in his 80s linked to the outbreak at Agecare Walden Heights in Calgary Zone, a woman in her 100s linked to the outbreak at Terra Losa Lifestyle Options in Edmonton Zone, a man in his 80s linked to the outbreak at Devonshire Village in Edmonton Zone, a man in his 90s linked to the outbreak at Youville Home in Edmonton Zone, a man in his 90s linked to the outbreak at Carewest Dr. Vernon Fanning Centre in Calgary Zone, a man in his 60s linked to the outbreak at Dulcina Hospice Calgary in Calgary Zone, a woman in her 70s linked to the outbreak at Dulcina Hospice Calgary in Calgary Zone, a man in his 70s linked to the outbreak at Glamorgan Care Centre in Calgary Zone, a woman in her 100s linked to the outbreak at Agecare Skypointe in Calgary Zone, a man in his 80s linked to the outbreak at Royal Alexandra Hospital in Edmonton Zone and a woman in her 60s linked to the outbreak at Royal Alexandra Hospital in Edmonton Zone.

READ  Premier to speak as Ontario sees 583 new COVID-19 cases, hospitalizations continue steady rise

Story continues below advertisement

“This time of year can be especially painful for those mourning the loss of a loved one,” Hinshaw said, extending her deep condolences to anyone coping with a loss.

Moderna vaccine

Hinshaw said Health Canada’s approval of the Moderna vaccine was good news.

[ Sign up for our Health IQ newsletter for the latest coronavirus updates ]

“Exact amounts and timing for Alberta are still being determined.”

She said Alberta has been preparing to receive the Moderna vaccine for “many months,” ensuring the appropriate infrastructure – including freezers – are in place. Hinshaw said planning is underway to determine dose numbers and where they will go.

Read more:
Moderna vaccine approved: What we know about side effects, ingredients and doses

The Moderna vaccine offers more flexibility than the Pfizer one, she added, as it can be taken to sites like long-term care homes to be offered there. It can be stored in regular freezers, as opposed to the -70 C refrigerators needed to safely store the Pfizer vaccine.






Moderna vaccine approved in Canada, B.C. health officials to release modelling data at 3 p.m.


Moderna vaccine approved in Canada, B.C. health officials to release modelling data at 3 p.m.

However, the vaccine’s approval doesn’t change how serious this virus is and how Albertans must respond, she said.

Story continues below advertisement

She stressed people must reduce in-person interactions as much as possible, continue to physically distance, wear masks and wash hands often – especially over the holidays.

READ  Demand for sports equipment and home gyms booms as Canadians prepare for pandemic winter

Thanksgiving gatherings fueled a spike in cases and hospitalizations that Alberta is still trying to get under control, Hinshaw explained. And now, our active case numbers are four to five times higher than they were prior to Thanksgiving.

Read more:
Another mutated coronavirus strain has been found in the U.K.

Federal officials have said they expect doses of the Moderna vaccine to arrive in Canada within 48 hours of approval. The government has inked a deal to get 168,000 doses of the vaccine by the end of December.

“Now that Health Canada has approved the Moderna vaccine, we have the green light to start rolling it out across the country … the first doses of our 40-million dose order from Moderna will arrive in the coming days,” Prime Minister Justin Trudeau said Wednesday morning.

Dr. Isaac Bogoch, an infectious diseases physician based in Toronto, said news that a second vaccine is approved for use in Canada is “just phenomenal.”

“It’s great news for a few reasons. The first reason is that Canada has more access to more vaccine. That’s fantastic in and of itself,” he said Wednesday morning.

Story continues below advertisement

“The second reason is that when you look at the data for the Moderna vaccine, it’s phenomenal. It really appears to be a safe and effective vaccine and let’s see if this really translates into real-world practice when it’s rolled out widely throughout Canada. And the third point is that it’s just a mush easier vaccine to use. It’s a little more durable than the Pfizer vaccine so this is a vaccine that can readily be taken into long-term care facilities and rural, remote or underserviced places and you can really do a lot of good with that.

READ  Erin O’Toole is the new leader of the Conservative Social gathering, wins on 3rd ballot - Countrywide

“The Pfizer vaccine is a vaccine where you have to bring the people to the vaccine, but the Moderna vaccine is one where you can bring the vaccine to the people. I think between those two vaccines we can do a lot of good in the country.”

Read more:
Moderna vaccine approved: What we know about side effects, ingredients and doses

Because of the easier transferability of the Moderna vaccine, Bogoch said he believes most provinces will administer it to those living in long-term care. So far, most provinces — including Alberta — have given the Pfizer vaccine to health-care workers because of its extreme-cold storage requirements.

“We know that, sadly, those people who are living in long-term care account for about 80 per cent of the 14,000 deaths that we’ve seen in the country. So there’s some significant good that can be done with this vaccine.”

Story continues below advertisement

On Tuesday, Premier Jason Kenney announced that an additional 25,350 doses of the Pfizer-BioNTech coronavirus vaccine had arrived in Alberta.


Click to play video 'Alberta receives 2nd batch of Pfizer COVID-19 vaccine'



Alberta receives 2nd batch of Pfizer COVID-19 vaccine


Alberta receives 2nd batch of Pfizer COVID-19 vaccine

The additional doses are being distributed throughout Alberta and will be administered in the coming days, he said.

As of Dec. 21, 3,074 doses of the Pfizer vaccine had already been administered in Alberta with no reported adverse events following immunization.

Read more:
2nd shipment of Pfizer vaccine arrives in Alberta as 1,021 new COVID-19 cases identified

 



© 2020 Global News, a division of Corus Entertainment Inc.

Written By
More from Alec Woods

Thanksgiving and other gatherings: Your COVID-19 questions answered

We’re answering your questions about the pandemic. Send yours to [email protected], and...
Read More

Leave a Reply

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *