Premier Kenney says Alberta will keep COVID-19 vaccine passport into at least early 2022

Premier Jason Kenney says the Alberta model of a vaccine passport helps enhance vaccinations and drive down COVID-19 instances, however notes it will likely be in place till no less than the early months of subsequent yr.

“I totally count on that we are going to have it in place by way of no less than the primary quarter of subsequent yr, 2022, as a result of we’re headed into an unsure interval,” Kenney mentioned Tuesday.

“We should be on our guard as we go into colder climate, when individuals spend extra time indoors.

“We’ll head into seasonal headwinds by way of viral unfold.”

Kenney and Well being Minister Jason Copping mentioned Alberta’s vaccine passport, which was launched three weeks in the past as a restrictions exemption program, is having the specified impact.

Learn extra:
Alberta launches app to read COVID-19 vaccination QR code

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Alberta Well being exhibits 85 per cent of eligible Albertans, these aged 12 and over, have now had no less than one dose of a COVID-19 vaccine. That’s up from 78 per cent a month in the past.

Greater than 75 per cent have had the required two doses.

Click to play video: 'Alberta launches app to scan COVID-19 proof-of-vaccine QR code'

Alberta launches app to scan COVID-19 proof-of-vaccine QR code

Alberta launches app to scan COVID-19 proof-of-vaccine QR code

Different provinces have adopted the vaccine passport, mandating anybody utilizing non-essential providers equivalent to bars and eating places present proof of vaccination.

Alberta’s program is voluntary, however these companies that don’t take part are topic to restrictions — together with severely decreased buyer capability.

Copping additionally introduced {that a} downloadable app is now out there that can make it simpler to show and confirm a QR code as proof of vaccination.

As of Nov. 15, Albertans will want these QR codes to show they’ve been totally vaccinated.

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Learn extra:
Reality check: Comparing Alberta’s COVID-19 vaccine uptake after $100 incentive and passport

The passport was certainly one of a number of insurance policies put in place to arrest a staggering surge in COVID-19 instances that has put the hospital system below extreme pressure.

Dr. Verna Yiu, the pinnacle of Alberta Well being Companies, mentioned the numbers seem to have plateaued however cautioned the well being system remains to be below extreme stress.

“It’s nonetheless too early to recommend that this can be a pattern, however it’s a superb signal and it’s a faint silver lining to what has been a really tough interval for our health-care system,” mentioned Yiu.

Click to play video: 'COVID-19: Alberta health president ‘more optimistic’ as pressure on hospitals ease slightly'

COVID-19: Alberta well being president ‘extra optimistic’ as stress on hospitals ease barely

COVID-19: Alberta well being president ‘extra optimistic’ as stress on hospitals ease barely

There was a median of 840 instances a day over the Thanksgiving lengthy weekend in Alberta, which had been seeing greater than a thousand instances a day or extra for weeks. There have been 33 extra deaths, together with a 14-year-old.

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Alberta has needed to greater than double the traditional variety of 173 intensive care beds and search medical reinforcements from the Canadian Armed Forces and Newfoundland and Labrador.

There have been 300 individuals receiving vital care Tuesday, most of them with COVID-19. That represents a one per cent drop from every week earlier.

When the additional beds are added in, Alberta’s intensive care items are on common 78 per cent full.

Hundreds of non-urgent surgical procedures have been cancelled for weeks provincewide to unlock employees to deal with the COVID-19 surge, however Yiu mentioned they’re slowly getting again to finishing a few of these operations.

Learn extra:
Alberta adds COVID-19 measures, vaccine passport in effort to prevent health-care system’s collapse

Additionally Tuesday, Alberta Well being mentioned it’s on observe to spend greater than $15 million to immediately pay vaccine-hesitant residents to get the COVID-19 shot.

The province mentioned that greater than 152,000 Albertans have signed as much as obtain a preloaded debit card in return for getting the vaccine.

The promotion, launched in early September to get extra individuals vaccinated, ends Thursday.

Click to play video: 'Alberta has seen ‘encouraging surge’ in COVID-19 vaccine uptake since $100  incentive launched: Kenney'

Alberta has seen ‘encouraging surge’ in COVID-19 vaccine uptake since $100 incentive launched: Kenney

Alberta has seen ‘encouraging surge’ in COVID-19 vaccine uptake since $100 incentive launched: Kenney – Sep 28, 2021

In the meantime, Opposition NDP Chief Rachel Notley known as for an all-party legislative committee to find out why the federal government did not plan for or address the fourth wave of COVID-19.

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Kenney lifted nearly all public well being restrictions as of July 1, declaring that any future COVID-19 instances may very well be accommodated inside the well being system and including they didn’t see a have to plan for a worst-case state of affairs.

As instances and hospitalizations surged over the summer time, Kenney’s authorities didn’t act with new measures or incentives till September.

“The UCP retains making the identical lethal errors again and again,” Notley mentioned earlier Tuesday.

“Albertans need to know simply how this disaster happened and why our fourth wave has been a lot worse than wherever else in Canada.”

© 2021 The Canadian Press

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