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Alberta

Alberta halts use of AstraZeneca vaccine for those under 55

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From the Province of Alberta

– Dr. Deena Hinshaw adress to media Monday, March 29

Following extensive discussions with our provincial and federal partners, Alberta is temporarily pausing the use of AstraZeneca in anyone under the age of 55.

This is a precautionary measure that is being taken across Canada.

As I mentioned to you last week, there have been some rare instances of blood clots reported in Europe that require more investigation.

While all available data and evidence shows no increase in the overall risk of blood clots for those who receive AstraZeneca, in a very small number of people who received the vaccine, a blood clot in the brain was reported 4 to 20 days after the vaccine.

These incidents are rare, and at this point seem to be linked to AstraZeneca, possibly through an immune response.

There is no evidence of any similar issues linked to the other vaccines that we are using in Alberta.

There have also been no reported cases of these blood clots following immunization, in Alberta or anywhere in Canada.

However, safety is always our top priority.

This pause will allow Health Canada to conduct further assessments and gather more information from around the world.

This change is based on new information reported late last week, and over the weekend regarding some additional cases and a lack of a connection to a specific lot or batch of the vaccine.

I want to assure you that anyone under the age of 55 who has already received a dose of AstraZeneca vaccine is not considered to be at high risk of blood clots.

However, as with anyone who receives any medication, including vaccine, they should monitor their health and seek immediate medical attention if they experience health concerns.

We will continue monitoring the emerging evidence around this issue.

We will also continue doing everything possible to ensure that our immunization program remains safe and effective.

Studies are underway that will help determine what vaccine those already immunized with AstraZeneca will be able to receive when it comes time for their second dose in the months ahead.

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Alberta

Premier Smith uses First Ministers’ meeting to catch up with Quebec Premier Legault and Saskatchewan’s Scott Moe

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Premier Smith’s update from the Ottawa

Premier Danielle Smith participated in the First Ministers’ Meeting on health care in Ottawa and provided the following update.

Alberta is leading the country with major reform to health care. After 2.5 years of requests from Canada’s premiers, today, the federal government presented their plan. While this is a start, overall, this is significantly lower than the premiers anticipated. Premier Smith will take this information back to her team in Alberta in advance of meeting with Canada’s premiers again in the coming days.

Premier Smith also met with premiers François Legault of Quebec and Scott Moe of Saskatchewan in Ottawa in advance of today’s first ministers’ meeting.

Premier Smith and Premier Legault committed to a desired outcome for a health-care deal that recognizes and respects provincial jurisdiction over health delivery and leads to better outcomes for Albertans and Quebecers. Premier Smith stressed the importance of Alberta’s energy sector, advocating for the importance of natural gas exploration and development both for the growth of the Canadian economy and to provide energy security for Canada’s allies. Premier Legault reiterated his desire to invest in clean energy like hydroelectricity to fight climate change. Both premiers expressed concern about federal overreach and the need for the federal government to respect provincial autonomy in areas of provincial jurisdiction to better meet the needs of their citizens.

Premier Smith and Premier Moe expressed a need for flexibility in the delivery of health-care services, especially those that Alberta’s Healthcare Action Plan commits to, such as reducing surgical wait times, improving ambulance services and reducing emergency room wait times. Premier Smith emphasized Alberta’s progress on recovery-oriented care to support those struggling with mental health and addictions challenges and invited Premier Moe to Alberta to visit the province’s recovery-oriented treatment centres. The premiers also discussed the mutual importance of the energy sector to their provinces for job growth and export to Canada’s allies and a desire to work together on establishing economic corridors for trade and energy export.

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Alberta

Premier Smith asks Prime Minister to halt “Just Transition” legislation

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Premier Smith meets with the Prime Minister

Premier Danielle Smith met with the Prime Minister for approximately 30 minutes primarily discussing Alberta’s request for the federal government to halt the introduction of its proposed ‘Just Transition’ legislation and other emission reduction strategies.

The Premier asked the federal government to instead work collaboratively with the Government of Alberta on developing a plan and partnership to attract energy investment and workers into Alberta’s conventional, non-conventional and emerging energy sectors while reducing Canada’s and Alberta’s net emissions.

The Prime Minister expressed a willingness to explore this strategy with the Premier through their respective ministers and the Premier will be following up with further correspondence regarding proposed next steps in the near future.

The Premier used today’s discussion to outline Alberta’s expectations as to what must and must not be included in any future federal legislation, targets or policies as it relates to Alberta’s energy sector. These expectations included:

  • Abandonment of any references to ‘just transition’ or any other terminology or policies that signal the phaseout of Alberta’s conventional or non-conventional energy sector or workforce.
  • Increased workforce training and participation in all of the conventional, non-conventional and emerging energy sectors.
  • The need for formal consultation and collaboration with Alberta before the federal government announces or implements legislation, targets or policies that materially impact Alberta’s energy sector.
  • Substantial increase in LNG exports to Asia through the lens of meeting targets through replacement of higher emitting fuel sources with clean Canadian LNG.
  • Joint federal-provincial initiatives to facilitate increased private investment in nuclear, hydrogen, bitumen beyond combustion, geothermal, lithium, helium, zero-emission vehicle, CCUS, petrochemical and other emerging technologies and fuels that make Alberta’s conventional and non-conventional energy sector increasingly carbon neutral.

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