First COVID-19 vaccines administered to health professionals in Grande Prairie

Registered nurse Kristen Davis is the first in Grande Prairie to receive the COVID vaccine on Dec. 23, 2020. Davis works in the ICU at the Queen Elizabeth II (QEII) Hospital in Grande Prairie. (Supplied, AHS)
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Healthcare workers at the Queen Elizabeth II Hospital are rolling up their sleeves as the first doses of Pfizer’s COVID-19 vaccine have begun to be administered. The province began the distribution of 25,350 doses of the vaccine to all healthcare zones on Wednesday.

Fourteen dedicated COVID-19 centres across Alberta have been set up to receive the COVID-19 vaccine. At the QEII, Kristen Davis is a Registered Nurse who has worked in the ICU for roughly 10 years and is among the first in the region to be immunized.

Davis says the risk of transmission prior to getting vaccinated was consistently on her mind, but now she has some breathing room.

“I’m always thinking about donning and doffing and making sure all my PPE is on correctly. And when I’m not thinking about that, I’m worrying about what would happen if I got sick, and how that would affect my family, my colleagues, and my patients,” she says.

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The first wave of the vaccine is set to be distributed to all eligible respiratory therapists, ICU staff and physicians, and some continuing care healthcare workers. Those identified for immunization during this phase are selected based on how much they interact with COVID-19 positive patients, their risk of transmission, and their role on the frontlines.

Distribution of vaccines across the province is expected by Alberta Health Services, in conjunction with Alberta Health, to take place in several waves spanning a several-month long timeline.

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