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Banff mayor disappointed J&J vaccine shipment to town put off

Last Updated May 3, 2021 at 12:30 pm MDT

Banff Alberta Canada main street. Mirrorpix/Courtesy Everett Collection (MPWA617488)

BANFF – The mayor of the Banff townsite says she’s disappointed that a vaccine shipment expected to arrive in her town today was put off.

Last week provincial health officials said Alberta’s first shipment of Johnson & Johnson vaccines would be immediately sent to hotspots Banff and the Fort McMurray area, but Health Canada announced on Friday it would be suspending all shipments from that manufacturer.

Banff and the Regional Municipality of Wood Buffalo were expected to be splitting about 30,000 doses of the vaccine.

“We are disappointed that the Johnson & Johnson vaccines earmarked for Alberta are delayed, but we value the work of Health Canada to ensure they have the information needed to verify the safety of every single dose. We thank Alberta Health for their efforts to explore other sources of vaccines to help immunize high-risk areas as soon as possible,” reads a statement from Karen Sorenson.

“Front-line workers in Banff and all Alberta need the vaccine, but like other communities, we will wait our turn and remain vigilant in following all health protocols to stop the spread until everyone is immunized.”

Banff town council has scheduled a special meeting for Monday afternoon to discuss the COVID-19 situation in the region.

The national public health authority said last week Johnson & Johnson won’t be used as the doses coming to Canada doses were partially processed in the Baltimore plant that ruined 15 million doses at the beginning of April.

That plant was forced to close, while the United States Food and Drug Administration investigates.

READ MORE: NACI recommends Johnson & Johnson COVID-19 vaccine for adults 30+

In an update Monday, Health Canada recommended provinces give the Janssen vaccine to adults 30 years and older.

It also suggested the single-dose be used on people who may have more difficulty booking a second vaccine appointment.

-with files from Cindy White