CALGARY (660 NEWS) — The race to get as many Albertans vaccinated as soon as possible has been the goal of local and provincial governments in order to move past the pandemic.
Distribution is on full speed with more doses headed out to COVID-19 “hot zones” recognized by the government as they will be providing the Regional Municipality of Wood Buffalo and the Banff area with Johnson & Johnson vaccines when they arrive early next week.
Parts of Calgary’s northeast have been struck with high cases throughout the past year, but solutions are in place to curb the spread of the virus.
Ward 5 Councillor George Chahal says he’s worked with multiple levels of government to provide support.
“We’ve been advocating for a number of months and we were very excited to get the mass vaccination centre at the Genesis Centre right in the heart of Ward 5,” he said while adding that a testing site has also opened up at the McKnight-Westwinds LRT Station.
Chahal adds that many residents in his community work multiple jobs and aren’t able to work from home and need to become a priority.
“Residents of northeast Calgary, we live in larger family sizes — many in multi-generational families and denser neighbourhoods — and many of our residents work multiple jobs and they’re frontline jobs. They’re jobs that they have to go to work for, they don’t have a choice of staying at home,” Chahal said.
He says that he’s had numerous conversations with Mayor Naheed Nenshi, Calgary Emergency Management Agency Chief Sue Henry and provincial officials about putting these supports in place and adds that it is urgent to provide people with the right information.
“We just need to make sure that we vaccinate the most vulnerable in our community and then target those areas where we see those hot spots and where these COVID cases occur,” Chahal said.
660 NEWS has reached out to the provincial government on if northeast Calgary could be part of a region-specific vaccination site, but have yet to hear back.