Starting April 27, vaccines will be offered to more than 15,000 workers at 136 federal and provincial plants across the province. In order to vaccinate workers as quickly as possible, a variety of approaches will be used, including on-site clinics, pharmacies and Alberta Health Services clinics.
Meat-packing plant workers were identified as an eligible group under Phase 2C, but delays in Alberta’s incoming vaccine supply delayed the start of this program until now.
“We continue to progress through Phase 2C of Alberta’s vaccine rollout as quickly as vaccine supply from the federal government allows. I’m glad that we can now offer vaccines to protect these valued workers who contribute so much to Alberta’s and the entire country’s food supply system. As vaccine shipments continue to arrive, our focus will be getting those Albertans most at risk of severe outcomes vaccinated as quickly as possible.”
“Health officials have long been working on plans to vaccinate workers at meat-packing plants. These workplaces have certainly borne their share of the burden of COVID-19, and I am relieved and pleased that we can now offer vaccine to this next group in Phase 2C.”
“Protecting workplaces where large outbreaks can happen quickly is critical. Immunizing workers at meat-packing plants will go a long way to help keep these workers, their families and communities safe. Immunization is key for Alberta to move forward past this pandemic.”
Workers at federal meat-packing plants will be immunized using a combination of Primary Care Network clinics, public health clinics or linkages to local pharmacies or AHS immunization sites. This includes the largest plants currently operating in the province: Olymel in Red Deer and Cargill in High River.
Once these clinics have been completed, any workers who have not been vaccinated will be provided with a letter from their employer that they can present at an AHS immunization clinic or pharmacy to receive the vaccine. They will also be able to use the AHS booking tool.
At provincial meat-packing plants, which are typically smaller, employers will receive a list of AHS clinics and pharmacies in their area, and a letter that their employees can use to establish their eligibility to be immunized.
As well, the Cargill plant at High River will also be the focus of a pilot clinic led by a team of researchers from the University of Calgary. This clinic will address vaccine hesitancy by providing translated materials and on-site translators at the plant.
More than 2.3 million Albertans are now eligible for the COVID-19 vaccine.
Expanding eligibility for Albertans with underlying conditions
Alberta is also expanding those eligible under Phase 2B of the vaccine rollout. Youth born between 2006 and 2009 with underlying health conditions are now eligible to book appointments for their COVID-19 vaccine. A doctor’s note is required to book an appointment with participating pharmacies and AHS.
Alberta’s decision to reduce the age of eligibility is based on emerging research showing safety and efficacy of vaccine in this age group and the National Advisory Committee on Immunization’s recommendation for the Pfizer vaccine. Additional information is available at alberta.ca.
Alberta’s government is responding to the COVID-19 pandemic by protecting lives and livelihoods with precise measures to bend the curve, sustain small businesses and protect Alberta’s health-care system.
- As of April 25, 1,419,188 doses of COVID-19 vaccine have been administered in Alberta.
- There are a total of 136 meat-packing plants in Alberta, including 18 federal facilities and 118 provincial plants.
- Federal meat-packing plants employ about 12,626 workers and provincial meat-packing plants and abattoirs employ between 3,600 and 4,000 workers.