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She said the same “rigorous testing and testing” had been applied to the Pfizer-Bioentech COVID-19 vaccine, with no safety issues in the clinical trial with tens of thousands of participants worldwide.
Her comments came just hours after the first dose of the vaccine was given in Alberta on Tuesday.
“Within a year of the virus being discovered, it was unbelievable to think that we already had a 95 percent effective vaccine,” Hinsha said. “And it’s already going into the hands of our long-term care residents and those who care for the sick in our hospitals.”
Health care workers in Edmonton and Calgary will continue to be immunized this week. With another 25,000 doses coming in next week, immunity will expand to priority health care workers across the province.
Hinsha said the National Public Health Agency and all provinces would closely monitor for adverse health reactions to the vaccine.
“I believe the benefits of vaccines outweigh the risks and this vaccine can save lives,” she said. “There is a high level of scientific evidence that vaccination is the best defense against serious infections. We take every precaution and work with clear evidence that this vaccine is safe for albatrosses and work.”
Hinsha asked Albertans to be vaccinated when the opportunity arose.
Cases, hospitalizations and deaths continue to rise in the province, with Alberta Health Services continuing efforts to increase hospital capacity and expand the availability of ICU and acute care beds.