Seniors in the 65-unit Piper Creek Lodge are among those waiting for COVID-19 vaccinations. (File photo by Advocate staff)

Seniors in the 65-unit Piper Creek Lodge are among those waiting for COVID-19 vaccinations. (File photo by Advocate staff)

Central Alberta senior lodges anxiously waiting for COVID-19 vaccinations

“Should be at the front of the line, not the back of the line”

Seniors in two lodges in Red Deer, one in Lacombe and another Sylvan Lake, have yet to be vaccinated against COVID-19 and central Albertans want answers.

Geoff Olson, executive director of Bridges Community Living, said vaccinations by Alberta Health Services at Parkvale and Piper Creek lodges have been scheduled and then cancelled. At Pines Lodge, residents were vaccinated, but not staff.

Vaccinations at Sylvan Lake Lodge, were also cancelled.

“Residents and their families are very, very concerned, especially in our lodge program, because they have been treated as high risk up to this point… and therefore should be at the front of the line, not the back of the line,” Olson said.

“I have a hard time believing we’ve been high risk for a year now, and all of a sudden we’re not a high risk anymore.”

Alberta Health Services acknowledged that many eligible Albertans and their families are eagerly awaiting their COVID-19 vaccine.

“Unfortunately, we have had to reschedule vaccine administration in some lodges and care homes due to inconsistency in vaccine supply. We apologize to anyone whose vaccination has been delayed, and for the uncertainty and frustration these delays may cause. We want to assure you, and your families, you will receive the vaccine,” said AHS in a statement.

Recently the province opened vaccinations up for seniors 75 and older through pharmacies in Red Deer, Edmonton and Calgary. On Thursday, Health Minister Tyler Shandro said the government now expects to be able to offer all Alberta 18 and over, a first dose of the vaccine by the end of June.

Olson said it can’t be a supply issue if the province is doing an average of 11,000 COVID-19 shots a day. If it’s a priority issue, why aren’t lodge residents at the top of the list? They range in age from 65 to over 100.

Alberta Health Services said it is working with the operators of seniors lodges and care homes to host vaccinations at their sites in the coming days and weeks. Immunization is being rescheduled for residents at some lodges, including Parkvale Lodge, Revera Ingelwood, and Lacombe Lodge, to occur between Mar. 17 and 23.

“The exact timing of immunizations is subject to the availability of vaccine supply, and is dependent on the coordination with site operators,” AHS said.

AHS said residents living in a lodge, manor, or other private supportive living facility, will be contacted directly through their care team to be immunized onsite. They do not need to book their own appointments; arrangements will be made for them with the site.

Related:

Premiers blame Ottawa for delayed COVID-19 shots; Ontario pharmacies to offer jabs

Alberta extends time between vaccine doses means more people to get shot sooner

Linda Palmer, whose 93-year-old mother lives at Lacombe Lodge, said opening up vaccinations to more people is fantastic, but vaccinations at her mother’s lodge were cancelled this week.

“(The province) has been saying all these lodges have been done and they’re not. It’s frustrating. These people are worried. They’re afraid,” said Palmer, who puts the blame on provincial health officials and not the lodge.

The last time she saw her mother was through a window in October.

She said her mother is doing well, but it’s been pure luck that the lodge has not had a COVID case.

“They have been doing a good job there, but people are allowed to come and go. It’s not like they’re in a locked-in facility,” said Palmer, of Dewinton.



szielinski@reddeeradvocate.com

Like us on Facebook and follow us on Twitter

CoronavirusSeniorsvaccines

Get local stories you won't find anywhere else right to your inbox.
Sign up here

Just Posted

Alberta completed 18,412 COVID-19 tests, as reported on Wednesday, for a test positivity rate of 9.5 per cent. (NIAID-RML via AP)
Highest daily count of 2021 so far: Alberta reports 1,699 COVID-19 cases

Variants now make up 59 per cent of Alberta’s active cases

Alberta’s chief medical officer of health Dr. Deena Hinshaw and Premier Jason Kenney say the province would look at adding additional COVID-19 measures in the coming weeks if the virus continues to spread. (Photo by Government of Alberta)
Walk-in COVID-19 vaccination clinic to open in Red Deer

Alberta adds 1,345 new cases of the virus

Public health restrictions on non-essential travel and vacation bookings are being increased in B.C. (B.C. government)
COVID-19: B.C. announces signage along Alberta border to discourage non-essential travel

B.C. extends COVID-19 indoor dining, group fitness ban until May 25

A vial of some of the first 500,000 of the two million AstraZeneca COVID-19 vaccine doses that Canada has secured through a deal with the Serum Institute of India in partnership with Verity Pharma at a facility in Milton, Ont., on Wednesday, March 3, 2021. THE CANADIAN PRESS/Carlos Osorio - POOL
Alberta begins rolling out AstraZeneca COVID vaccine for those aged 40 or older

There are more than 70 pharmacies offering AstraZeneca, including 26 offering walk-in appointments

A lone traveler enters the Calgary Airport in Calgary, Alta., Monday, Feb. 22, 2021. THE CANADIAN PRESS/Jeff McIntosh
VIDEO: Trudeau defends Canada’s travel restrictions as effective but open to doing more

Trudeau said quarantine hotels for international air travellers will continue until at least May 21

President Joe Biden holds a virtual bilateral meeting with Canadian Prime Minister Justin Trudeau. (AP Photo/Evan Vucci)
U.S. to help Canada with more COVID-19 vaccine supply, Biden says

The U.S. has already provided Canada with about 1.5 million doses of the AstraZeneca vaccine

In this image from video, former Minneapolis police Officer Derek Chauvin, center, is taken into custody as his attorney, Eric Nelson, left, looks on, after the verdicts were read at Chauvin’s trial for the 2020 death of George Floyd, Tuesday, April 20, 2021, at the Hennepin County Courthouse in Minneapolis, Minn. THE CANADIAN PRESS/Court TV via AP, Pool
George Floyd’s death was ‘wake-up call’ about systemic racism: Trudeau

Derek Chauvin was found guilty Tuesday on all three charges against him

sign
Alberta Biobord Corp. recently hosted a virtual open house from Stettler

The company plans to develop a fuel pellet and medium density fibre board (MDF) plant near the community

The Rogers logo is photographed in Toronto on Monday, September 30, 2019. THE CANADIAN PRESS/Tijana Martin
Rogers investigating after wireless customers complain of widespread outage

According to Down Detector, problems are being reported in most major Canadian cities

People are shown at a COVID-19 vaccination site in Montreal, Sunday, April 18, 2021, as the COVID-19 pandemic continues in Canada and around the world. THE CANADIAN PRESS/Graham Hughes
Nothing stopping provinces from offering AstraZeneca vaccine to all adults: Hajdu

Health Canada has licensed the AstraZeneca shot for use in people over the age of 18

Deputy Prime Minister and Minister of Finance Chrystia Freeland responds to a question during Question Period in the House of Commons Tuesday December 8, 2020 in Ottawa. The stage is set for arguably the most important federal budget in recent memory, as the Liberal government prepares to unveil its plan for Canada’s post-pandemic recovery even as a third wave of COVID-19 rages across the country. THE CANADIAN PRESS/Adrian Wyld
Election reticence expected to temper political battle over federal budget

Opposition parties have laid out their own demands in the weeks leading up to the budget

Most Read