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RMWB residents 18+ eligible to receive COVID-19 vaccine

A health-care worker prepares a dose of the Pfizer-BioNTech COVID-19 vaccine at a UHN COVID-19 vaccine clinic in Toronto on Thursday, January 7, 2021. THE CANADIAN PRESS/Nathan Denette

FORT MCMURRAY (660 NEWS) – Residents of the Regional Municipality of Wood Buffalo who are 18 years of age and older will soon be eligible to receive the COVID-19 vaccine.

Premier Jason Kenney made the announcement on Monday, adding that 20,000 additional doses will be distributed to the RMWB and Banff regions to make up for the delay of the Janssen shot.

“When the Janssen delay was announced on, I believe Friday, we committed to the people of Wood Buffalo and Banff that we would find another way, because initially we had committed that that was the source that would go to them. And I am pleased to say that we have been able to keep that commitment,” Kenney said.

According to a statement provided by Alberta Health, RMWB residents who are at least 18 years old will be able to book a vaccine appointment through 811 starting on Tuesday, May 4. Online and pharmacy booking will begin on Wednesday.

Information on the province’s website states that Pfizer, Moderna, and AstraZeneca will be available to RMWB residents 18+.

Health Canada issued a statement on Friday in regards to the delay in distributing the Janssen vaccine: “As with all vaccines imported into Canada, the Janssen vaccines will only be released for distribution once Health Canada is satisfied that they meet the Department’s high standards for quality, safety and efficacy. Health Canada is currently working with Janssen and the FDA to obtain all of the information it needs to complete this assessment, prior to releasing the Janssen vaccines for distribution.”

The Regional Municipality of Wood Buffalo remains under a State of Local Emergency. As of Monday, there were 1,458 active cases of COVID-19 in Fort McMurray and 46 in the surrounding region.